Ten Reasons Why You Need To Talk To Your Child About Porn
By Megan Steyskal-Rondeau
I have an eight year old boy whose whole world consists of Legos, Star Wars and all things dirt. Why would I need to talk to him about pornography? He probably doesn’t even know what pornography is.
Probably…that word isn’t too reassuring. He probably doesn’t know what it is or why he should be aware of its ramifications. But he does know it because he sees it EVERY DAY.
We were watching the Super Bowl together and a Victoria’s Secret commercial came on. I recognized it for what it truly was, but did he?
“Braden, can you tell me what you just saw on TV?”
“I saw some ladies walking in their underwear, they’re weird.”
“And how did that make you feel?”
He shrugged, “I don’t know…nothing?”
So why do I need to talk to him about pornography?
- Because he’s already been exposed to it…only if in tiny amounts. The average age of exposure to pornography is down to eight years old. (Jackson, 2015)
- Because pornography is as addicting and as harmful as any drug. Kids get the “Don’t Do Drugs” mantra early on in elementary school. Why should this addiction be treated with any less emphasis? (Fightthenewdrug.org, 2015)
- Because he needs to be aware of the disrespect it encroaches on women. “At its very worst, it [pornography] is a gory celebration of the destruction of the feminine, with women being beaten, raped, humiliated, and otherwise assaulted for the perverse pleasures of misogynists.” (Van Maren, 2015)
- Because it opens up MY eyes as an adult and makes me hyper aware of what surrounds him on a day to day basis.
- Because he needs time to prepare himself to the oncoming pressure. He needs to recognize dangerous sites and know how to handle it when he is exposed. (Andrews, 2014)
- Because it opens the window of communication between him and I for other difficult, yet vital, topics to come. He needs to know he can come to me and trust me to be his teacher and fiercest advocate for a safe childhood.
- Because he needs to be uncomfortable when he sees pornography: awkward, irritatingly, distressingly uncomfortable. This is not something I ever want him to get used to seeing and dismissing as harmless. There is no such thing as being “unaffected” by graphic images.
- Because as healthy as it is to be curious about sex- it is not healthy to use pornography.
- Because it forces me to learn about the industry and be realistic of the affects it poses on our society. This isn’t the cliché “Do as I say, not as I do”. I need to be excruciatingly uncomfortable with this epidemic as well. If I have it in the house, on my computer, hidden in my drawers it increases his chances of being exposed to it in what should be his safe zone.
- Because it is my responsibility as his parent! I can’t wait to talk about it when the Legos are shelved and I embarrass him in front of his friends with my many [awesome] Star Wars references. I need to clean up the dirt now before it has a chance to bury him.
Megan is a thirty-something single mom who has worked in Pharmacy for the past 15 years. When in “time-out” (of her own accord) she reads and writes, then reads some more. You can find her blog at www.theaccidentallibrarian.com.
Jackson, R. (n.d.). When Children View Pornography. Retrieved February 11, 2015, from http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/sexuality/when-children-use-pornography/when-children-view-pornography
Porn is Like a Drug. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2015, from http://fightthenewdrug.org/porn-is-like-a-drug/#sthash.KPL9FwSO.dpbs
Van Maren, J. (n.d.). Feminism’s self-defeating about-face on porn. Retrieved February 11, 2015, from https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/fighting-porn-isnt-anti-sex-its-profoundly-pro-sex-and-pro-woman
Andrews, C. (2014, July 18). When Your Child is Exposed to Porn – Educate Empower Kids. Retrieved February 11, 2015, from https://educateempowerkids.org/child-is-exposed-porn/