Talking to our kids about porn is tricky to say the least. Parents regularly ask how to bring up the topic with younger children, particularly in a way that doesn’t draw too much attention to what is supposed to be something we are trying to help them avoid. This was a major issue for me too when I considered telling my kids about internet dangers. Most times we are also trying to avoid having to get into detail about all of the things porn can entail. Adults are free to visit sites like A Tube and watch as much as they please, but we need to protect our children from this until they are at the age where they can legally watch it, should they decide they want to. Well, the good news is that there is a quick and easy phrase to use to accomplish the need to bring awareness to our kids without peaking their interest. Dr. Dave Currie phrased it in a way that INSTANTLY gave me a sense of peace and even excitement about talking with my kids. The phrase goes something like this: “Bad people put naked pictures of people on the internet. If you ever see these or any other kind of picture that makes you uncomfortable come and tell me or your Mother/Father quickly, so we can get those people in trouble.”
The key elements of this kind of statement’s effectiveness are the following:
- “Naked pictures” – this is specific and clear and doesn’t leave much room for questions. Kids understand naked and everything inappropriate falls into that category.
- Removal of shame – too often our kid’s stumble on things and feel like they have seen something wrong. They end up afraid to tell us because they must have done something wrong for them to feel the way they do. This phrase, or a variation of it, puts you on the same team as them. When you are teamed up against things and your kids know what to do in advance, shame disappears and they aren’t afraid to get in trouble any more.
It’s worth mentioning the need to use this kind of language with your children as early as they are using any form of computer or Internet. At around 8 years old, it will help to introduce them to the term “porn” for their own understanding. Simply put “some people call naked pictures, porn” Their peers and friends at school will be using terms like this and it’s important that they know what it is. Otherwise your child may be asked if they would like to see “porn” and if they don’t know, they may say yes and find themselves in a situation neither you or they wanted.