Hasn’t porn been around forever?

Great question

Yes, yes it has.  But not porn like what we have today.

I want you to have this background because chances are, your kids may make exactly this argument.  They have a natural healthy drive, time to do a little research, and they’ll argue you into a corner to get what they want.

If we define pornography as art that is meant to arouse, then yes, people have made erotic art since cave-man days. 

 

This generation of porn is different

What you find at a porn site is not what past generations grew up with.

What we see all around us now, on billboards, on tv, in film, is what used to be called soft-core pornography.  A little nudity, a risque outfit, a suggestive dance move.  That was pornography.

What we call porn now was never available when we were growing up.  Even in the 1980’s, when hard-core porn started taking off, those videos were difficult and expensive to obtain.

With the rise of the internet came internet porn.  The pornography sites quickly found that users craved more extreme sex. That is how young people see ever increasingly ‘hardcore’ content.

Now, hard core porn dominates.  

 

The antidote

Since this new thing is in our kids’ environment, the best thing we can do as parents is to acknowledge it, and educate our kids against it.

Don’t let your kid tell you that everyone watches porn, they always have, and it’s normal.  

These conversations will reap huge benefits, not just for your child, but for every one of their future potential partners.

 

We’re all in this together, and I’ve got your back.

John

 

P.S. Was this helpful?  Comment below and let us know!  

Help! My kid Googled “porn”!

I hear this all the time.  It is SO common for kids to google “porn” or “naked girls” or “penis”.  They want to see what’s out there.  That curiosity is normal and healthy.  

The results that pop up from a search like that, however, are NOT.  

While parental control software might shield them from some of it, or alert you to the search, it’s only a matter of time until kids learn how to get around it.  Then they search again, because they’re still curious.  Of course they are!

Don’t get discouraged.

The best thing you can do is talk with them about it.

The problem with kids and porn is that their brains are still forming, and we don’t want their arousal pathways wired to a screen, or even a certain body type.  

Their brains should wire to their EXPERIENCES, not to imagery.  The less imagery, the better.  No particular expectation about what body parts should look like, no judgement about the “right” way to do it. Parents should be the only ones guiding their children about sexuality.

Just the basics, please.

The basics are all they need at this point, for a healthy innocent exploration of their own sexuality.  Help them veer away from satisfying their curiosity with extra information and porn, and towards grounding them in their own feelings and sensations.  

Here’s what I’d say to my kid:

  1. Sexuality is good. It’s a beautiful way for GROWN-UPS to grow closer.
  2. All that porn stuff is irrelevant, since you have to learn what you like. None of these “resources” can tell you that and certainly not online porn.  
  3. You’ll learn what you like or what a potential partner likes by being near them and communicating, not by watching a video.
  4. Don’t expose yourself to this stuff because it wires your brain differently. You may have no inclination towards any number of things that are shown in pornography, but by watching porn, your brain may develop an interest in watching these things. Even if you’re disgusted at first, the imagery is arousing and haunting (it’s designed to be!) and the brain may adapt to create “likes” that you didn’t have on your own. 
  5. Porn sites have already removed all the videos that didn’t bring users back. It’s compelling or it wouldn’t be there for you to find.

 

I know it’s not easy. Thank you for stepping up to these tough conversations. We owe it to our kids to be brave about online pornography. 

These conversations will reap huge benefits, not just for your child, but for partners they may have in the future.

 

We’re all in this together, and I’ve got your back.

John

P.S. Join a community of parents just like you!  Our Parent Forums are a safe, moderated, factual space where we share resources and support one another.

Anything is better than nothing

When I was a teen I used to sneak out of the house. Well, I thought I was sneaking. Turns out, my parents knew. Whenever I slipped out, the bells hanging on the door chimed. They heard those bells and knew exactly what was happening.

The allure of sneaking

Since I didn’t know that they knew, sneaking out had an allure, like a secret agent getting away with something. Like I was somehow smarter than they were.
Then one day they sat me down and told me about the bells, with that wry look parents have when kids overlook something obvious.
The allure vanished. I was no longer getting away with something.

Sneaking porn

When you talk with your child about porn, the very first thing that happens is you let them know that you know. They’re not sneaking and getting away with it, and neither are their friends.

The quickest way to take the “cool” out of porn is to let your kids know that you know they watch it.

Even if you don’t say much in that first conversation, you’ve accomplished something huge. You’ve let them know that you know. You’ve opened the door to future conversations. The rest will come in many short exchanges.

That’s why anything is better than nothing. Starting small is perfect.

 

 

We’re all in this together, and I’ve got your back.

John

 

P.S. If you haven’t yet, or would like a refresher, take advantage of our free gifts to you: The Porn Prevention video series and the e-book.

The biggest mistakes parents make about educating kids about porn

I know why parents are shy to bring up the topic of porn.  Our parents didn’t have to have this conversation with us, and we have no models to go by.  We’re scared to screw it up, as anyone would be.

I’m all about helping you have that first talk, opening the communication, and ensuring that it isn’t a train wreck.

Let’s start by NOT doing these:

 

 

Mistake #1: Chickening out

Many parents hear about the dangers of online pornography and resolve to protect their kids from it, but then don’t actually have a conversation.  

They might give their kids a cryptic message like, “Be safe online,” or “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” and leave it at that.  

They might check the browser history on their child’s device, find nothing of concern, and conclude that the conversation doesn’t really need to happen yet.

They might have their kid sign a technology agreement which states somewhere in the fine print that the child agrees not to access porn.

None of these are anything like a conversation, and I gotta tell ya, the results aren’t either.

  

 

Mistake #2: Relying on technological solutions

For some parents, it’s much easier to install filters or parental control software than to talk with their kids about porn.  Instead of having the conversation, they hope the tech will take care of it for them.  Spoiler alert: It can’t and it won’t.

 

 

Mistake #3: Just handing the child a book

Let me be clear, I love giving kids books!  However, a book about sex or dating or bodies is not going to prevent a kid from being exposed to porn.  

Giving a kid a book is not the same as having a conversation with them.  Give them the book if you’d like, but don’t do it instead of a meaningful discussion about the impact of porn on their lives.  

 

 

What to do instead? 

Sit down and TALK ABOUT IT.  

It’s perfectly understandable if you’re not sure how to get started.  We got you!  Watch The Porn Prevention video series or sign up to receive our free e-book.

You can totally do this.

 

We're all in this together, and I've got your back.

John