How do I talk to my kid about internet porn?

By Common Sense Media®
How do I talk to my kid about internet porn?

There’s no sugarcoating it: It’s easy for kids to find porn online, even through completely innocent searches. Many parents find themselves confronting this issue much sooner than they imagined, with kids who may not even understand exactly what sex is. If younger kids are frequent Internet users, it’s a good idea to set up content filters or parental controls to reduce the chances they’ll be exposed to inappropriate images or video. Once kids are a little older, you can teach them to click away from content that is clearly not intended for kids their age and explain that certain stuff on the Internet is for adults only.

If you think your kids might encounter porn online, either by accident or on purpose, it’s a good idea to explain what pornography is in an age-appropriate way.

  • Tell your kids that it’s natural to be curious. Avoid saying something that may make them feel ashamed.
  • Make sure they know you’re available to talk about any subject — nothing’s off the table.
  • Look for other resources — books, age-appropriate websites, movies — that can educate your kids about sex, intimacy, puberty, and relationships.
  • For older kids, explain that pornography typically presents the extremes of human relationships — and that the people depicted are usually paid actors. It’s not representative of real intimacy.
  • For teens, explain your family’s policy on viewing Internet porn. One thing to consider: Some porn sites can introduce harmful viruses onto your home computer.

 

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