Things I Can do to Prepare My Child Before Porn Exposure

Things I Can do to Prepare My Child Before Porn Exposure

By Tawny Redford

If you are like most responsible parents, you are wondering how to talk to your child about porn. Although we agree how unpleasant the topic of porn is, especially when imagining our children seeing it, it would be an invaluable investment to ‘school’ yourself and your children in the dangers of porn exposure before their buddy at school, or the most accessible technology beats you to the punch.

Educate

  • Establish an understanding about what sex is with your child before the conversations about porn arise so that they will understand the way healthy sexual relations are supposed to happen. Obviously these topics go hand in hand and if we are going to be honest with our children about what porn is, then our children need to have a clear understanding of what sex is.
  • Educate your children about how powerful their minds are and explain whatever is seen is stored in their brains for life. (That is worth protecting!)
  • Children need to know how porn can manipulate their future relationships, and cause unrealistic expectations and unhealthy gender roles. (Versions of this can be modified to fit what is age-appropriate for your child.)

Empower

  • Teaching them self-worth will allow them to be more comfortable with refusing to continue to view porn whether it is a peer or even an authority figure’s pressure they are up against.
  • Give them healthy examples of relationships which are thriving and illustrating respect and love, including your own!
  • Install the age-appropriate blocks on all technology they have access to.
  • Set up and monitor specific times daily where they can use the internet for specific purposes, (such as school work), and bookmark their favorite ‘clean’ sites to avoid material that may slip through the cracks.

Create a plan of attack if they see porn

  • Teach them to turn away, and shut off the device immediately, or walk away if it belongs to someone else.
  • Direct them to tell an adult if they are exposed to porn accidentally.
  • Help them to understand that they won’t be blamed if they act responsibly and report about what they’ve seen.

How to react if you find they have been exposed

    • Keep the lines of communication open so they feel comfortable asking questions about what they saw.
    • Go over how they handled the exposure and refine a plan of action if needed.
    • Equip them with more protection if the ones in place have failed. ( i.e….device blockage, choice of friends/acquaintances, or other outlets to stay away from)
    • Reiterate that accidental exposure is always a danger and to have them be an active participant in helping you create a wholesome environment for them.

Tawny Redford is a wife and mother of two children. She has a B.A. from Sacramento State University and is passionate about issues involving childhood development. She chooses to use her opinionative nature to empower others instead of drive her husband crazy.

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