The Shocking Reality About Your Kid & Pornography

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parenting advice: your kid and porn
Are you prepared to answer your son or daughter's questions about sex?

With the average 10-year-old having access to five different screens at home, chances are good that your son or daughter is being exposed to some kind of sexually explicit message. So with that being said, at what age do we start talking to our kids about what they are seeing? And more importantly, have we set the stage for our kids to even step up and tell us when they do see it?

Luckily for me, my son knows that I trust him and would never be unreasonable with my reaction. Even though I wanted to vomit when my 12-year-old came to us with a video that he could not get to close on his phone, my husband and I remained calm and only answered questions that came up. Then, we removed the search from his cell phone (a motion recommended by other experts). What's needed is conversation, clarity and (if necessary and needed) consequences. The reason I mention "if necessary" regarding consequences is because if it was truly an accident, the humiliation of having to talk to you about what he/she saw may be enough to keep your child clean for a while. Lying to our children or making them feel shamed for seeing something sexual is a dangerous road to go down. It can lead to our kids having unsafe sex at a premature age. An article in Scotland's Sunday Herald says that males between 12-17 years old who were exposed to pornography had sex earlier and initiated oral sex earlier in an imitation of what they had seen. 

If children are being exposed to sex as young as 6 (and let's face it, if you're sexually active, your kids have either caught you or overheard you talk about it already), then, we as parents need to start having conversations about anatomy around that same age. I'm not saying to teach your first grader about oral sex or orgasms, but to teach your child that boys have penises and girls have vaginas (and that babies come out of that vagina). I once counseled a family whose child was suspended after "threatening to cut a little girl open" while playing house at recess. Apparently, the kids were pretending she was having a baby after this child was told that babies are cut out of a mother's belly after "God puts it there." Get the idea? Honesty is always the best policy.

Kids are not filthy-minded little creatures who are born craving sex, porn and addiction. They are curious beings whose entire survival is dependent on learning about the world they live in. Procreation is part of that world. Education about the human body and what is "to be kept private between to consenting adults who love each other very much" is a gift to our children. It lets them know that their parts belong to them, they are in control of them and no one else should ever touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable or scared, and that it's perfectly natural to be curious about your body. They should learn that moms and dads who love each other connect in a special way and it's not bad. They should learn that if they ever see something that shows people's private parts, they should come to your parents immediately! They should not be punished for what they saw, but they may have to talk about it so they know they are safe.

I'm pretty sure we won't be seeing any threesomes on children's networks anytime soon ... but then again, I've seen some cartoons lately that would make Hugh Hefner blush, so if we can't keep our kids locked in a closet, the next best thing is education—that and getting them outside where there are no screens (but that's another blog post).

Article contributed by

Tara Kennedy-Kline

Author

Love Unconditionally, Give Freely, Laugh Openly, Learn Daily, Grow Immensely

Location: Shoemakersville, PA
Credentials: CFC, CLC
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