With digital consumption skyrocketing through social media, online streaming and even e-learning, pornography has never been easier to access. Exposure to pornography is not only an adult issue, it negatively impacts the mental and emotional health of children in our community.
While children and teen’s exploring their curiosity about relationships and their own body functions is common and appropriate behavior, the normalization of pornography viewing and distribution can lead to addiction and even negatively hinder their development.
The reality is that 90% of children between the ages 8 to 16 have been exposed to online pornography. A surprising majority have even accidentally stumbled on porn sites and x-rated content while working on online homework. We encourage parents to tackle the conversation of pornography early on as a proactive form of prevention.
Here are some helpful tips you can use to start addressing the topic of pornography with your child:
1. Have conversations, not lectures.
The key to addressing sensitive or uncomfortable topics with your child is to develop an open dialogue. Be open to listening to their perspectives and build a conversation based on what they tell you, not what you expect to hear from them.
2. Timing is everything.
Choose a time when you can speak to your child privately in a safe and comfortable environment. This can include before going to bed, after a family meal, or even during a quick road trip.
3. Focus on the long-term.
Creating a habit of prevention is not done through only one conversation about pornography. The most effective way for your child to retain the information you provide is by constantly receiving small amounts of accurate knowledge.
The more conversations you have and the more consistent you are with communication about sensitive topics, your child will be encouraged to develop more understanding and openness.
If you’d like to gain detailed insight, tools and statistics on this topic, we encourage you to seek out our Guide on Pornography!