7 ways to protect children from negative effects of pornography
Many children are being exposed to pornography without understanding how it can damage their young minds. The only way these children can stay safe in a digital world is to install their own internal filter through the continuous guidance of their parents.
It’s impossible for parents to monitor their kids’ digital exposure every minute of every day both inside and outside the home, but it’s important to teach them how to respond when they see pornography.
Guidance will minimize the shock when children are exposed to porn and it will encourage them to come and talk to their parents whenever they are exposed. This reduces the shame associated with pornography use and keeping it a secret. Shame and secrecy can compel a child further into the use of pornography.
*Fathers can help prevent their children from becoming addicted to pornography, by not underestimating their child’s curiosity. Fathers should protect kids from soft-core porn as much as possible. They can do this by putting blocks on sites that their children might be able to access.
*Fathers, after you define what pornography is, teach your kids that pornography is tricky because it evokes two conflicting feelings at the same time. Children may feel a pleasurable physical response at the same time they feel repulsed, horrified and upset emotionally. Explain that pornography can become an addiction.
*Fathers can also view talking about pornography as an extension of talking about sex. Once young people know about sex, parents can say that if the young person has any further questions about sex as time goes on, they would be delighted to answer them. This openness to answering questions can be repeated again and again.
*Be upfront and acknowledge your child might want to go online to try to find out information about sex and that they can then end up seeing sexual content and pornography. Give them adequate warnings about accessing adult sites and offer to explain any questions they might have.
*It is important to communicate the following messages: Porn is not real, it is a performance. If a person is not clear about this fact, their confidence can be knocked and their expectations and ideas about sexual relationships can be negatively impacted.
*Do not assume that a young person who is not keen to ask questions about sex or pornography has no curiosity about it. They may be embarrassed or self-conscious. Normalize their feelings by assuring them that talking to you about sex is hard but it is very important because you care about their well being.
*Don’t be pressured to give lots of information in one conversation. Like conversations about how to manage friendships, or how to manage peer pressure, conversations about sex and pornography can take place intermittently over time. Opportunities arise or can be created as young people grow and develop.