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How to talk to your kids about online porn



Online porn is as real as the Internet itself and sooner later, if you haven’t stringently been protecting your home environment, your kids are going to come across a porn website. Even if you keep your home computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone completely secured, your kids may come across online porn at some other location. So instead of just trying to protect them against this problem, you also need to talk to them. You need to make them aware of such websites, you need to tell them what to make of them, how to understand them, and how to avoid them.

This blog post on Mashable talks about a dad who accidentally discovered that his 13-year-old boy is accessing porn websites. Knowing that this kid is shy and easily gets embarrassed he didn’t confront him head on. Instead, he left a note on his computer screen. He told him that he is not going to confront him directly and he’s not even going to tell his mom. He can choose to respond in whichever way he wants.

The dad is perhaps a geek so he posted about this on Reddit. Many people suggested that he should talk to his kid and in fact in a later update he did mention that the kid came out and talked to him for 5 minutes.

Anyway, talking about online porn with your kids can be an awkward exercise and many parents find it difficult to raise the subject. The problem is, it is reality, and the problem is exacerbated by the fact that the reality is grotesquely twisted on such websites. What if your kid gets his or her worldview from such websites? This can be scary. So if there is a right time to talk to your kid about online porn, it is now. But how to do it?

Let your kid take initiative but be the catalyst. Introduce the topic casually. If you are uncomfortable you can use some pretext. User persona and then use that persona to convey the message to your kid. Tell your kid that whatever he or she has been seeing on porn websites isn’t reality. You can also tell him or her how it can become an addiction and totally screw up his or her mind.

Take care that you don’t preach. This is a highly private and sensitive issue. This topic needs to be talked about as a friend more and less as a parent.