You Need To Talk To Your Kids About Porn

A few years back when my son was about seven years of age he asked me, very matter-of-factly, what pornography was. Now, I suppose that shouldn’t have surprised me give my line of work, but it did. I remember responding, “what’s that?” Not because I hadn’t heard him. I was stalling. Gathering my thoughts. Praying not to mess this up.

In this blog I’d like to relay the bulk of that conversation because I have become convinced that we parents must begin talking to our children in an age appropriate way about pornography. I’m also convinced that most parents out there have no clue where to begin.

So, the rest of the blog will show you how to begin, then, at the end I’ll tell you about two indispensable resources you need to get now. Like, right now. Like, open up a new tab and get them now, now. Okay. Back to the conversation where my son had just asked me (again) what pornography was.

“Uh, pornography is something that, when you look at it, it hurts you.” I said.

“Huh?”

“Well you know how some pictures make you feel good, and happy, and safe?”

“Like comics?” He asked.

“Sort of, but I’m thinking more like photo’s of your brother and sisters,” I said. I pulled out my phone and showed him a few photos I had taken recently of his younger brother. “How does that make you feel?” I asked.

“He’s so cute, I miss him already!” He said.

“So this is a good picture, and it makes you want good things and want to do good things, right?” I said.

“I guess so” He said.

“Pornography is pictures that are bad. They’re bad pictures that make us want to do bad things and they hurt our brains and our souls.” I said.

“Why do people look at it if it’s bad?” He said.

“Because it can feel good and exciting.” I said. “But remember, rats find rat poison good and exciting. And not just rats; if I took some poison pills and covered them in chocolate, and people ate them, they’d probably like them too, wouldn’t they?” I asked

“Yeah, but then they’d get sick.” He said.

“That’s right.” I said.

“Do you just find it by typing it in?” He asked. Now this question was interesting because I hadn’t yet told him that porn could be found online, and he hasn’t yet ever used the internet. Honestly, I was afraid of what to say. I didn’t want to respond, “Yep, just type “porn” into Google” and you’ll be on your way!”

“You can type lots of bad things into the Internet and find lots of bad things, but why would you want to do that?” I asked. “How silly would it be if you typed in “how can I hurt my brother?”

He smiled, nodding with agreement.

“If you ever see anything on the internet or anywhere else that you know is bad or that makes you feel uncomfortable I always want you to come and tell Mum and Dad about it, okay?”

“Okay.” He said.

“Even if you’re scared we’ll be upset. We won’t be upset. We’d be so proud of you for telling us, and that way we can make you feel better.” I said.

“Okay Dad.” He said.

You’ll notice I didn’t get very specific about anything in particular: what porn is, how it hurts the brain, what he should do when he encounters it (other than speak to his Mum and me). These were conversations I’ve had with him since then.

So, what did those conversations look like? What else do you need to know? The following two resources will tell you exactly what you need to know, answer the many question you probably have, and show you how to continue this conversation with sensitivity and truth.

  1. Go and get my brand new CD (it came out yesterday) Protecting Innocence: Parenting, Your Kids, and the Internet. Buy a copy for every parent you know. You can listen to a 10 minute sample of it here.
  2. Get Kristen Jenson’s incredibly popular book, Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn Proofing Today’s Young KidsThis is a beautifully illustrated, read aloud book designed for parents to read to their children. It’s awesome.
  3. Listen to my podcast on “3 Conversations to Have With Your Kids About Porn”, here.

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Matt Fradd speaks to tens of thousands of people every year. He is the author of several books, including Does God Exist?: A Socratic Dialog on the Five Ways of Thomas Aquinas and The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography.  Matt earned his master’s and undergraduate degree’s in philosophy from Holy Apostles College. His podcasts, Love People Use Things and Pints With Aquinas are listened to by tens of thousands of people every month. Matt lives with his wife, Cameron, and their children in the mountains of North Georgia.

1 Comment

  1. I am so relieved to know that there are holy and committed people who are taking this very important and highly under-rated subject matter to children and youth. The identification and development of our true sexuality has been turned upside down and perverted to senselessness and harm..
    Thank you, thank you!
    Grandma

    By lynn cristini | 8 months ago Reply

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