How to Talk to Kids About Porn: 8 Tips Every Christian Parent Needs

I grew up as a “good kid” from a “good family,” and yet my first exposure to porn came when I was just 10 years old.

Some neighborhood kids who lived around the corner invited me to their house after school.

Giggling, they brought out a videotape they’d found in the glovebox of their family’s truck and played it for me on their living room television.

Little did I know how these images would forever change my life.

As I watched this pornographic video, I felt a strange mix of both intense pleasure and deep shame like I’d never felt before.

And even though I knew what I was watching was wrong, I couldn’t keep my 10-year-old eyes off the screen.

I grew up as a “good kid” from a “good family,” and yet my first exposure to pornography came when I was just 10 years old. Some neighborhood kids who lived around the corner invited me to their house after school. Giggling, they brought out a videotape they’d found in the glovebox of their family’s truck and played it for me on their living room television. Little did I know how these images would forever change my life…

How Porn Still Affects Me 30 Years Later

Pornographic images are said to be some of the most powerful and lasting images we can encounter because they chemically alter the brain with a flood of physical and emotional sensations.

Friends, I can testify to this truth because those images were burned into my 10-year-old soul.

Thirty years later, I can still remember the name of that video. I can recall specific images from several scenes.

It has taken years for me to fully comprehend how this incident (plus a handful of other brushes with porn in high school and college) have shaped my perceptions about sexuality and my own self-confidence as a woman.

For example, although I have a healthy, thriving marriage, I sometimes feel the need to “perform” for my husband in the bedroom, and I know that’s a direct result of the pornography I consumed.

I also sometimes struggle because I feel “less than” when I compare my 41-year-old body (after four kids) to those flawless bodies that’s were airbrushed to perfection on the screen.

Can you relate?

I’m guessing that if you or your husband don’t live with these repercussions in your marriage too, then you know at least one couple that does.

Stats About Porn Use Among Today’s Kids

It’s frightening to think about the devastation that this “secret sin” causes.

In fact, according to information from the “Having the Talk” video course for parents, today’s easy access to porn greatly contributes to this fact:

27% of todays’ young adults have seen porn before they enter puberty.

This number has more than doubled in less than a generation!

Here’s another scary statistic shared in the course:

Only 1 in 10 teens say that viewing porn is a bad thing.

Clearly, what used to be an underground industry can gone mainstream, even affecting the culture’s view of what was widely considered as culturally taboo.

P.S. These are scary stats! But we can help our kids successfully navigate porn’s tricky waters.

The “Having the Talk” video course from Luke and Trisha Gilkerson outlines many of these strategies and has given my husband and I so much more confidence in how to talk to our kids about not only porn, but biblical sexuality as well.

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8 Important Tips About Talking to Our Kids About Porn

Because porn has become such a pervasive force in our society, we must be wise and vigilant in speaking to our kids about this topicregardless if its a comfortable one or not.

Here are some of the guidelines that we’d suggest (many of these are also talked about in depth in the “Having the Talk” video course).

 

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1) Internet filtering isn’t enough.

Although it’s important to have aggressive defensive measures in place (here’s the best internet filtering we’ve found), we can’t be naive enough to think that internet filters alone with keep kids safe from porn.

In fact, we allow ourselves to have a false sense of security when we believe that we’ve “dealt with the porn issue” by simply surrounding our kids with a giant bubble.

We don’t want to believe that they’ll never face with the temptation, and we can’t protect what they may see when they are out of our immediate care (which happens more and more as they become teens and eventually leave the house).

Instead, what if we helped kids understand the big picture about porn so that they can develop their own self-control and convictions?

Porn is everywhere, and even the “best” kids with “good” friends may run into it. Better that we prepare them for the inevitability that they will be exposed to porn and teach them strategies to deal with it.

2) We must be proactive instead of reactive.

While many parents are afraid of telling their kids “too much too soon,” many parents realize that they’ve waited too long when they shockingly discover that their child has already had a pornographic encounter.

Along there is always hope for healing, it’s much easier to deal with the problem before than after a child has seen porn.

P.S. Terrified of talking about this with your kids? That’s totally understandable! The “Having the Talk” video course really helped my husband and I gain confidence in this area.

 

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This course gives parents powerful step-by-step suggestions for how to talk about these difficult-to-discuss topics. Learn more here!

3) We inadvertently determine what is “acceptable” and “not acceptable” for our kids based on our own self control in this area.

Remember that old adage of “do what I say, not what I do?” How our kids see us responding when we’re faced with sexual temptation speaks volumes.

How do we handle a risqué movie scene?  Do we regularly partake in media that contains sexuality that we would tell our kids is inappropriate? These daily decisions communicate our true beliefs about this topic, and kids pick up on this.

4) Be a trusted, reliable source of sexual information for your kids.

Our kids have questions about sex, and as parents, we want to establish ourselves as the place where our kids can come to get answers to those questions.

This kind of honest, open interaction is built from the earliest ages as we talk honestly with our kids about sex (here’s a chart that gives specific ideas of what to talk about at what age).

It becomes much easier to talk to kids about complex issues like porn when we’ve already established a strong foundation of God’s good plan for sexuality.

Learn more about how to talk to kids about biblical sexuality here.

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5) Remind kids that an interest in sexuality is normal. 

We can’t shame our kids for being curious about sex. God created us to be sexual beings!

Teach them that healthy sexual desire is normal, but that sex is intended to be a wonderful gift of intimacy for a husband and wife to share.

6) Don’t be afraid to share your own failures in this area. 

Don’t let the shame and condemnation of your own mistakes keep you from talking to your kids about porn.

Just like any other struggle in life, our kids are desperate to hear how we too faced these temptations.

Even if we made a poor decision, we can still use these stories as a way to relate to our kids, to tell them about the consequences of our choices and to demonstrate how God’s way really is the best way.

Let the Holy Spirit guide you in terms of what, how much, and when to share.

7) Ground your kids in biblical truths and raise them to be completely committed to follow Christ.

We want to not just teach our kids about the evils of pornography (and why it’s evil) but we want to give them such a love for God and a passion for His truth that they will listen when the Holy Spirit tells them to turn their eyes away, to not go to a certain site or to not watch a specific movie.

This kind of conviction to wholeheartedly follow Christ does not develop overnight but is the result of fervent prayer, of regular teaching times together and of God’s unmerited grace.

Let’s not only share with our kids about what it means to treasure sex, but let’s also help them stay committed to being pure by helping them develop their own self-control and convictions in all areas of life.

8) Cover every conversation with love, grace, forgiveness and hope. 

Always direct kids back to God’s truths when talking about porn, namely that they can never step outside His great love for them.

Let them know that even when they mess up, God wants to forgive them and give them a fresh start.

Communicate over and over that there is no situation “too hopeless” or “too far gone.”

 

“What If My Child Has Already Seen Pornography?”

If you discover that your child has already been exposed to pornography (here’s a free e-book on this topic), I want to reassure you that there is still hope.

You may be feeling that you failed as a parent—that you messed up, or didn’t do what you were “supposed” to do.

But here’s the truth: God’s grace is big enough to fill in those gaps we make in our parenting.

It’s never too late to tell your children about the glorious plan God has for their lives and the wonderful beauty of His plan for sexuality.

This book—When Your Child is Looking at Porn—is a free resource from Covenant Eyes internet monitoring service that offers compassion and practical solutions should you find that your child has watched pornography.

 

“What If My Kids are Older?”

“Having the Talk” is a great resource for parents with kids 11 and under. Pre-puberty is the ideal time to lay a solid foundation for discussing sexuality.

However, even if you’ve missed that window with your child, it’s not too late!

Covenant Eyes has a free e-book called “Parenting the Internet Generation” that’s geared for kids preschool to high school. This is another resource available for parents.

Parents, We Must Talk to Our Kids About Porn!

Our kids are looking to us for information about not only porn but sexuality in general.

They want answers, and if they don’t get those answers from us, the world is only too happy to share distorted truths about this.

And if it’s hard to talk about these things, we must arm ourselves with the training we need—such as the wonderful parent training in the “Having the Talk” course—to make the conversations easier.

I can’t emphasize enough how much going through this course has eased our minds in this area!

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As you learn more about how to talk to your kids about sexuality through the “Having the Talk” course, I pray that you would find great healing to your own past as you discover God’s beautiful plan for sexuality.

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Other Posts On Teaching Kids About Biblical Sexuality

“When and How Should I Talk to My Kids About Sex?

The Hows and Whys of Talking to Kids About Sex

And don’t forget to check out the “Having the Talk” video course!

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About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health. Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

About the Author

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health. Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Leave a Reply 4 comments

Sara Lamberto - July 10, 2016 Reply

It is bizarre that my story is so similar to yours! I, too, was a “good kid” from a “good family” and saw porn for the first time at a friends house, age 10.

Joseph Goldsborough - August 28, 2016 Reply

Our good christian family was so glad to stumble upon this wonderful learning experience on the dangers of porn. We turned this into a true learning experience for the whole family.

    Alicia Michelle - August 30, 2016 Reply

    Joseph, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m humbled that what I wrote was able to lead your family toward an engaging time of learning together on this incredibly important topic. Blessings to you as you continue to talk about the hard stuff and seek Him in your parenting!

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