If you still have kids in the house porn is absolutely something that must be talked about. Even if they are outside the house it’s still something that you should talk about, but that’s another article for a different time. This is the time we live in and porn isn’t going anywhere, in fact it’s getting worse.
Let me throw a couple stats at you:
The average age children first view pornography is AGE 11.
93% of boys and 62% of girls are exposed to internet porn BEFORE age 18.
Now the tendency of parents, especially Christian parents, is to think that their children are the minority. They think because they worship God and identify as a Christian somehow makes them exceptional. Parents don’t fall for this trap! You need to talk to your children about porn because it will affect them at some point in their lives.
Here are four things your kids need to know about porn:
1) It has the power to change them.
They might think that looking at pictures and videos on the internet are no big deal. That it doesn’t really affect them. They need to know that this is how addiction starts. With the amount of chemicals released in the brain while watching porn it is highly addictive and can lead to a lifelong struggle with addiction. It changes how they will look at people; no longer as those made in God’s image but as objects, a collection of body parts. Porn has the power to change them so don’t take it lightly.
2) Sexual curiosity is normal and good.
If you think back to the time your parents sat you down and had “The Talk” you know how awkward and embarrassing it can be. If your parents didn’t do this think about how it would have gone. Yeah…pretty bad. If you also think back to your teenage years you know that being sexually curious is natural and it is part of how God made us, but when that curiosity turns to porn it can become damaging. It changes expectations and totally disparages the institution of marriage with images that will last a life time. Sexual curiosity is normal but porn is not.
3) Their friends probably won’t care.
There are not a lot of people, especially parents, talking about porn these days. When the subject of porn is brought up by your kid’s friends you can almost certainly know that it won’t be good. Your kids need to know that they might be alone when it comes to abstaining from porn and that it will difficult at times to hold this view. Just remind them that their friends have a lot of bad ideas and that thinking porn is cool is just another one of them.
4) Satan wants you to keep it a secret.
As with any sin, it gains much more power when you choose not to talk about it. And this is where Satan wants you. He wants you to think that you’re the only one dealing with this. He wants you to think that because you sin you are somehow less valuable. He wants you to keep your sin in the dark because there it can breed and give birth to a host of other sins. Let your kids know that you don’t expect perfection from them. That they probably will mess up, that they will see porn at some time. This is not the time to hide it because they think mom and dad will be so angry. Reaffirm that you will always love them even if they view porn. How you make a sin worse is by hiding it or lying about it.
There are probably other things that your kids should know about porn but you know your kids better than I do. These are the baseline things that I came up with that would be a good jumping off point. Don’t parent your kids thinking that your advanced parenting skills will keep them from porn. We don’t do that with any other sin. We will sin and chances are your kids will see porn at some point. Parent your kids to know what to do when they see it, when they stumble. This will be much more impactful and will serve them their entire lives.