My Kid Saw Porn Online: Now What??
I received the panic call from a good friend at 6:00 pm. “My son searched, well, he saw some stuff online that he shouldn’t have.”
“Oh?” My interest is piqued but the quesadillas are burning so she’s not getting all my attention.
“He and his friend searched naked teens and I’m pretty sure they saw some porn.”
She’s got my attention now! Those quesadillas can burn to a crisp! Her son is eight. Yes, eight, and he is a lovely, normal kid. Just like your kid and mine and like most kids he is curious.
My friend was alerted to the searching by the dad of his pal. Now she was left with the knowledge that her son had most likely seen some uncomfortable images and she had no idea what to say to him. So she checked online and you know what happens when you look up how to talk to your kids about pornography you end up inadvertently seeing a lot of pornography. It’s that easy.
Thanks to my friend’s son I will now tell you how to talk to your kids about porn. Do not ask what sites I had to go through to get you this information. Let’s just say I would like to wash my eyeballs. Now please take my advice so the whole experience was worthwhile.
The site theporntalk.org has some good ideas on how to talk to kids with many ideas on how to tackle the topic (in fact they are good ideas on how to talk to your kids not matter what the topic):
When talking to your kids about porn in their world they want seven things from you:
- Your full attention
- To be listened to form beginning to end
- For their secrets to be kept
- To express their feelings
- To be asked their opinion
- To hear about your own failures
- To not be made fun of, judged or ridiculed
Remember a child’s curiosity is okay and our reaction as their parent will teach them a lot about our values and our expectations. Establishing trust at this age will buy a lot of goodwill later on when the issues become even more complicated and icky.
I can not say enough good things about the book The New Speaking of Sex: What your children need to know and when they need to know it by Meg Hickling. It doesn’t cover too much of the new technologies but it is a great handbook.
The Porn Talk is a website devoted to teaching parents how to talk about porn with their kids. It has some good points but doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty.
Planned Parenthood has a good site aimed at teens and parents.
And just so you know, if you find yourself searching for how to talk to your kids about sex, you'll want to use birds and bees in the search field, and you'll probably want to choose sites that end in org. It seems that even in the new millennium we still have to employ euphemisms.