I Found My Dad's Porn Stash When I Was 12

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This 12-year-old found her dad's secret porn stash; what to do if your little one finds yours.

According to Maureen Healy, a child development expert and author of 365 Perfect Things to Say to Your Kids, "One-time and limited exposure to pornography usually doesn't have any persistent negative effects. Repeated exposure to pornography may have negative effects on children. Studies indicate that pre-teens and teens that continually search out pornographic websites have developed unhealthy attitudes towards sex."

I'm pretty sure my attitude toward sex never became unhealthy, but maybe that's because my mom gave me another perspective. Her early refrain that sex was beautiful and healthy seemed to temper the bizarre stories and crazy pictorials that I later stumbled upon. By far, her nourishing and well-meaning words left the greatest impact on me—more than all the wild and wacky stuff that I was never meant to see. Opinion: Sex Ed Is A Parent's Job

Don't be like my father; keep your porn in a truly safe and secure place—or else your kids will find it. If they do, here's what to say, according to Healy.

Age 3 – 5

  • These are adult magazines for grown-up eyes. They help adults understand their body in a healthy way.
  • The human body is beautiful and natural and these photos are showing the human body for adults to see and understand.
  • Photos like these are for adults and it is for adult play. I promise it will make more sense later in life

Age 5-8

  • You know there are all kinds of love—baby love, puppy love, friend love and grown-up love. That magazine you found was for grown ups to help them love themselves and others. 
  • Sometimes adults have things that are only for adults because it's natural and healthy for them but just weird at your age. This is one of those things. 
  • Magazines like that are for healthy adults to explore their bodies. It is a natural part of life. I know it doesn't make a lot of sense but when you are older, it will be clear. Now I realize it's weird and that's okay.  

Age 8-12

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