Have "The Talk" About Pornography

May 01, 2013

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Teens today are accustomed to having almost constant Internet access. Whether it’s on a home computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, kids love to stay connected. Parents—who are keenly aware of the inherent dangers of the Internet—have a responsibility to protect kids online. There are many important topics parents should discuss with their kids about Internet safety, but pornography is one that often gets neglected due to embarrassment.

Parents, you must talk to your kids about pornography, being candid and direct. Explain what you consider pornographic and why such material is dangerous.

Pornography is like a drug, triggering addictive chemical responses in the brain. It actually rewires the decision-making part of the brain. Also, it portrays sex unrealistically and through singular focus on the physical, hinders teens when they try to form relationships. Take charge and teach your kids about building genuine, long-lasting, significant relationships with others before pornography skews their perception of normal.

Pornography is virtually everywhere and your teen will find it sooner or later, intentionally or not. It’s estimated that kids are first being exposed to pornography between the ages of 8 and 11. In 2009, Symantec released results of 14.7 million web searches run by users of its parental control software. “Porn” was the 4th most common search term for kids 7 and under and the 6th most common for teens 13-18. Talk to your kids about pornography before someone else does.

If you want to talk to your kids about pornography, but don't know where to start, watch  this webinar (5 Things Kids Wish You Knew When Addressing Pornography) for some great information and tips from Clay Olsen of Fight the New Drug.

As additional protection once you’ve discussed pornography and have established family rules on the matter, try using a porn blocking software. Net Nanny can block content you deem inappropriate and alert you if problems come up.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.