Jan 30, 2019
In this episode, we'll give you 3 strategies to get "un-stuck" and start talking to your kids about pornography.
Parenting is hard work, and sometimes involves difficult discussions with our kids. For most folks, pornography is at the top of the list! We may worry … What if I say the wrong thing?
So instead we stay stuck on the fence. When it comes to porn, we waffle back and forth: To talk or not to talk? That is the question.
In this episode we give you 3 ways to get off the fence and start talking:
I. Admit out loud what feels uncomfortable
-Some of us are hesitant to talk about pornography simply because we’re uncomfortable saying the words.
-Practice saying words like “pornography” or “sex” just like you’d say “elbow” or “tuna fish.” (It’s just a word!)
-It’s ok to feel awkward. Real life IS awkward. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart!
-Learn to laugh at yourself. Tell your kids you’re going to make mistakes. Use humor when you can.
-Some parents may have experienced trauma--like sexual abuse or porn addiction--which makes it even more difficult to have these talks. We know. We’ve been there. We’re here to tell you: we can still do this! We can learn to separate our traumatic experiences from chats with our kids.
-Practice, debrief, or vent with a spouse/friend. If you have your own trauma, work through it with a counselor. It’s ok to ask for help!
-Remember porn is not sex, and sex is not porn. You don’t have to tackle the whole enchilada!
II. Appreciate the real cost of silence
-There might be some deeper fears (besides scary words) that keep us from talking to our kids about pornography.
-Many parents worry that talking about porn with our kids will it spark curiosity and rob them of their innocence. However, porn is targeting our kids every day! It’s not a matter of IF they will be exposed--it’s a matter of WHEN.
-Instead, consider this: Kids deserve to learn about dangerous things in a safe environment. As parents, we can start talking to our kids about pornography on our own timeline, rather than putting them at risk of being exposed through other sources.
-When you initiate this conversation you get to do it within the context of your family values.
-Every family is different, so talking about pornography will look different too.
III. Put yourself in your child’s brain.
-Sometimes (maybe unintentionally) we might expect our kids to think and act like little adults. But research shows that the human brain is not fully developed until age 24--maybe even age 32!
-Young brains are the most vulnerable to pornography because of development patterns.
-Our brains are all wired to be attracted to porn—regardless of age, race, or gender.
-We will cover brain science and how it relates to pornography in more depth in another episode.
-We also need to consider our children’s emotions, particularly FEAR.
-When we avoid talking to our kids about awkward subjects (like pornography), we’re actually teaching them not to come us.
-If they get into a difficult situation--like exposure to porn--this can Increase their fear: fear of getting in trouble, fear of disappointing their parents.
-If we avoid discussions about pornography, then when our kids encounter it (even accidentally), they won’t have the necessary vocabulary to express themselves if they have a problem.
CHALLENGE: Make a goal this week to have a conversation about pornography. If you feel brave, talk to your kids. If you need a warm-up, practice with a friend or spouse.
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Do you have a question? If you have a topic you’d like featured on the show, let us know.
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