Recently, I read a blog on a site I follow called Hey Sigmund. Their tagline is “where the science of psychology meets the art of being human”.
They publish all kinds of articles about people of all ages and the psychological concerns that they may encounter – from anxiety in children to how to handle toxic people in your life. It really is a fantastic site!
This blog was so striking to me that I needed to share my thoughts about it. Kids and Pornography – What Parents Need To Know and What To Do (by Cath Hakanson).
I can only imagine how frightening it is for parents when they see a blog that warns that it is easy for young child to happen upon a graphic pornography site on their digital device. If your instinct is to move quickly to a different blog where you feel more comfortable, please let me encourage you to resist that temptation. The statistics in this blog are alarming but also realistic.
Here are four highlights from the blog:
- The risk of exposure to sexually explicit material is easier now because kids are using the internet more frequently.
- Pornography that kids might be exposed to through the internet is graphic and disturbing.
- It is not clear how exposure to pornography when the child is young might affect them.
- Sex’ and ‘porn’ were the fourth and fifth most popular search terms used by children on the internet.
Start Young and Guide Them
My practical advise to you in response to this blog is to begin teaching your children about their reproductive system when they are young. That doesn’t mean to teach them about sex, just teach them about their own body. While you are teaching them, they will also learn from you what it means to have a healthy perspective of themselves and of others. Start early (~5-6 years old) and keep the dialogue going year after year so this topic becomes a comfortable and natural conversation between you and your children.
I understand that what I am suggesting is difficult for many parents to consider but you might be surprised at the response of your child. Kids want to learn. Many land on pornographic sites when they are not looking for one. Others just want to understand how it all works and sadly this is where they go to learn.
Protect your child by opening your heart, pushing past what is difficult for you and inspire them to have a healthy sexual perspective, one that rejects pornography as unnatural and unpleasant to them.