Are You Ready for WHEN Your Kids See Porn?

Are You Ready for WHEN Your Kids See Porn?

I was first exposed to pornographic material when I was in 4th grade. It was at a friend’s birthday party, a sleepover, and late at night another boy put on one of the bad channels. And there it was.

Thankfully, my parents and church had helped me to understand something was wrong with that movie, so I rolled over and closed my eyes. And yet, a few of the images I saw in that movie still stick in my mind to this day. Images are powerful.

That was the early 1990s, before the internet was in most people’s homes. Children are seeing more and more at younger and younger ages. Parents, you NEED to be ready.

Here are ten tips to help your kids in this fight, so that they are prepared WHEN porn hits their eyes.

    1. Talk positively and appropriately about the human body with your kids. Help them to see that God gave us a body, and we are to honor him with it. Teach them that certain body parts are special and reserved for special purpose (this also helps guard against abuse). Teach them that porn objectifies and uses other people’s bodies in a way that is hurtful to them and dishonorable to God. There are great books that help kids learn about this in age appropriate ways.
    2. Stay pure yourself. It would be sad if your child’s first exposure to porn was because they borrowed your phone or laptop and made a discovery. Are your devices clean? Is your heart clean?
    3. Don’t think it’s only affecting boys. It’s true that statistically porn hits boys more than girls, but studies are showing that more and more girls are drawn to it. Guard your daughters too.
    4. Watch out for the lies. Many TV shows and movies joke about porn as if it is normal, or even expected, to watch it regularly. That’s a lie.
    5. Don’t have “the talk” about sex; have an ongoing conversation. Talking about sex isn’t a one-time event with an adolescent. It is a continuous dialogue over the years. Our culture is obsessed with sex, so your kids will have different questions coming all the time. Don’t think you finished your parenting duties in this area by having one conversation; keep coming back to it.
    6. If you find your child or teen has seen porn or they confess to it, don’t shame them. You may feel panic, fear, and disappointment in yourself, but don’t let that turn to shame on them. They probably already feel it. It was likely an accident at first, and now they likely feel stuck and confused about it. They need help and love, not shame, especially if you want them to come back to you next time.
    7. Teach them that porn affects real people. It’s easy to think that those people on the screen aren’t real, or that they aren’t hurt by what they are doing. Many of them are forced into it. There are clear links between the porn and sex trafficking industries. Watching it contributes to an industry that is exploitative and harmful.
    8. As appropriate with age, point them to helpful testimonies. Several famous non-Christians have come out to share about their addiction to porn and its damaging effects. This could especially help your teens to see that this isn’t just “traditional Christian” mom and dad being prudish.
    9. Keep devices out of their bedrooms. This helps them to avoid and flee temptation. It also helps them sleep better, and sleeplessness is a massive problem in teens right now. You’re the parent, you’re paying the bills, so you make the rules. Keep the devices out of their bedrooms after a certain time (I do this as an adult!) Your kids will thank you later.
    10. Be present. The more time you get with your kids, the more natural opportunities will emerge for healthy conversations and lessons. Watch TV with them. Listen to their music. Talk with them about the messages of the shows and songs. Ask about their friends. Seize those moments in the car. Take initiative, be assertive, and be nosey. Annoy them with how much you want to be a part of their life. It’s your duty, and they will appreciate it over time!

It’s going to happen. We guard them and hope it won’t be when they’re young, but they will be exposed and tempted at some point. Help them be ready to face it, say no, and move forward if they stumble. I hope this helps!