RESOURCES FOR PARENTS
What about my kids?
Unfortunately, in the world today it’s almost inevitable that your children are going to come across porn whether deliberately or accidently. Its important you accept this so you can actively prepare them to navigate the very sexualized world out there. Remember even if you provide the absolute best protection at home, your kids will still most likely be exposed to porn outside the home at school or a friend’s place etc.
There’s a range of statistics and research that has been performed around children and their exposure to porn. While some of the results are varying, they do confirm that children are being exposed to porn at a very young age. Here are some results of studies that we find quite scary!
Youth Internet Safety Survey
According to the third Youth Internet Safety Survey, published in 2010, the ages when youth were unwillingly exposed to nudity online were:1
10-12 years old 15%
13-15 years old 23%
16-18 years old 28%
Accidental exposure to porn
Nearly 80% of unwanted exposure to pornography is taking place in the home2
Occurs in the home 78%
At school 9%
Other locations 7%
At a friend’s home 6%
How were children exposed?
Kids experience unwanted exposure to sexual material via various means:3
A link came up as a result of an innocent word search 40%
Clicking on a link in another site 17%
A pop-up 14%
Other means 13%
Misspelled web address 12%
Pictures involving animals or other strange things 10%
Don’t know 4%
So what do I do?
- Have your computers at home in a central, well trafficked area. Such as the living room or kitchen.
- Protect your kid’s smartphones, laptops and tablets with accountability and filtering software (we have a good list of options on our website here).
- Have unplugged parts of the day i.e. no devices before school. No devices during dinner time so you can communicate the old fashioned way 🙂 etc.
Be an example. Use the same rules for yourself as you set for them.
Talk to your kids
- Be prepared for the porn talk and the sex talk. Read about it. Learn about the topic. Learn how to protect your children’s devices.
- Talk to your children about why there are guards on their devices.
- When your child asks a question about porn or sex, be honest and give an age appropriate answer.
- Be the source of information. Encourage an open atmosphere so your children feel comfortable coming to you for advice or an answer to a question.
- Have ongoing conversations with your children. Don’t sit them down and have the “sex” or “porn” talk and never speak about it again.
- Talk by action. Don’t say no to certain things then go and do it yourself. Be an example.
What if I find my children have looked at porn?
- Stay calm. Don’t freak out even though the first reaction can be to get angry or upset.
- Don’t judge. Respond with love and understanding. That way your children will be more likely to share what they are dealing with.
- Encourage your child’s honesty. Listen to them intently when they speak to you. Acknowledge what they say so they know you are really listening to them.
- Prepare an action plan with them. Work with them on a way to deal with the issue and to put further guards in place.
- Encourage them to be accountable. Make time to hang out with them and keep yourself up to date on their progress.