That awkward chat: how to talk to your kids about pornography

Research shows the average age a child is first exposed to Pornography is just 11yrs. exposure at some point is inevitable, so what can parents do about it?

Whether exposure was deliberate or accidental, kids will feel a mixture of confusion and curiosity – ‘What am I looking at? should I tell Mum and Dad? maybe I’ll get in trouble’. 

If kids feel even the slightest chance of the iPad being taken away they’re unlikely to approach their parents for an explanation on something they’ve seen that confuses them. Depending on previous conversations you’ve had with them, their understanding of sex and pornography will be limited, but instinctually they’ll know they shouldn’t be looking at it. How do parents proactively approach this conversation to ensure kids understand and make the right choices around pornography? Cyber Experts David & Katie Kobler from Protect our Kids have shared their insights on the issue itself and how parents can best begin this conversation with their kids.

The Problem

'When a child is first exposed to the concept of sex via pornography, they are beginning their education and experience with a total misinterpretation of reality' David and Katie explain. 'The representations of sexuality, relationships and sex acts in pornography are fabricated to appeal to an adult audience. The expectation is that an adult should be able to separate the reality and fantasy to understand that what they’re watching is staged. An adult can also understand the basic concepts of relationships and sex and will have their own values towards these, such as gender equality and mutual respect. A child will not be able to understand that what they’re watching is not reality, and may develop their own misguided values on sex and relationships based on what they’re seeing in the videos, like that violent sexual acts are ok. The issue of your child educating themselves about sex via pornography is that they have no opportunity to develop the healthy and safe values you wish to impart on them'. 

The Solution

‘Making your children feel comfortable talking to you about these topics is vital’ David says. The Kobler’s recommend opening the lines of communication first and on a regular basis – ‘Explain what sex and pornography are before they’re given a chance to see it themselves’ says Katie. 'This doesn’t have to be a modern-day version of ‘The Talk’ which often leaves kids feeling embarrassed and awkward. Short/sharp conversations around sex designed to educate will, over time, help your kids build a healthy understanding of sexuality, relationships and pornography'.  By explaining these concepts on an ad-hoc basis, you will put them on the path to understanding, rather than confusion upon seeing pornography for the first time. The videos or images will still confuse them as there is no way to prepare them for what the world of pornography contains, but if you’ve made them feel comfortable coming to you about it then you’re given the opportunity to set them straight.

It can be difficult to delay or halt their exposure until you’re ready to talk to them about it but parental controls will help. Installing Family Zone on your kid’s devices will significantly reduce the risk of early involuntary exposure to pornography and other inappropriate content. We know it's difficult to navigate this journey but the good news is that you're not in it alone - our team of Cyber Experts, including Protect our Kids are here to help.

 

Start your free trial

 


Topics: Parental Controls, Pornography, Cyber Safety, Cyber Experts, parenting

    Try Family Zone for FREE

    Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.

    Free Trial
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Follow us on social media
    Popular posts
    Parental Controls | Screen time | Mobile Apps | musical.ly | Social Media | tiktok | child development | self-harm | sexualisation
    One mum's jaw-dropping journey through TikTok
    Parental Controls | Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | parenting | roblox
    Roblox: What parents must know about this dangerous game for kids
    Parental Controls | Pornography | Cyber Safety | Social Media | parenting | digital parenting
    Pornstar to parents: shame on you!
    Parental Controls | Screen time | musical.ly | online predators | tiktok
    It's the world's most popular app. And you've probably never heard of it.
    Parental Controls | Screen time | teens on social media | wellbeing | dating app
    Swipe right for trouble: Six teen dating apps parents need to know about
    Parental Controls | online gaming | Social Media | primary school | krunker
    Krunker has landed - and it's got our kids in the crosshairs

    Recent posts

     
    "Houseparty" is off the hook right now: What parents need to know

    Teen-targeted video-chatting app Houseparty has exploded over the past two weeks, as housebound kids turn to their screens to connect with ...

     
    The "new normal" brings new online risks for kids

    In these difficult times, protecting your family’s health is a 24/7 commitment - and it’s not only their physical wellbeing you need to ...

     
    "Never let a good crisis go to waste"

    Winston Churchill’s famous observation - made during the bleakest days of World War II - have a lot to teach us today, as we grapple with ...

     
    Juggling screen-time in the Age of Coronavirus, and other feats of extreme parenting

    Chances are good both you and your partner are now working from home - and quite possibly trying to home-school the kids at the same time. ...