How to Start Preparing Your Child To Reject Pornography from a Young Age

by | Jul 17, 2023 | Spiritual Growth

This article, originally titled  “Will the Porn Talk Arouse Curiosity in Kids? 5 Solid Reasons to Overcome Your Fear and Start Now was originally posted on Defend Young Minds® by Kristen A. Jenson. We here at No Ordinary Parenting strongly recommend you get her book, Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn Proofing Today’s Young Kids.

“I’m afraid to start talking with my child about pornography. Won’t I arouse their curiosity and cause them to start looking for it?” I’ve heard this question a lot from parents. 

I totally understand their fear. Kids are curious! Their brains are hard-wired to explore their world and imitate what they see adults do. That’s exactly why parents need to talk to their kids about pornography sooner rather than later. 

Will talking to my kids about porn just make them more curious?

Fear is real, but here are 5 reasons why you need to take courage and start preparing your children to reject pornography from a young age.


5 Reasons to start talking to kids about pornography now even if you’re worried it will make them more curious

#1 Fear-based decisions are usually not the best decisions

Decisions made out of fear do not come from a place of confidence or consideration of all the facts. Fear and anxiety do not empower you–they limit your options. So ask yourself, “Am I hesitating because of fear? What else is keeping me from starting these conversations?” 

If you can’t find a better reason than just fear of arousing curiosity, then I believe the evidence is on the side of early empowerment and education. 

Think of other activities, like swimming. You may be afraid that your child would drown in a pool or at the beach, but that would probably cause you to enroll them in swimming lessons earlier, rather than later. Likewise, kids need to know how to “swim” and stay safe in a hypersexualized world. 

The truth is that parents have two choices:

  1. They can cross their fingers and hope that their child won’t be exposed until after they begin talking with them about the harms of pornography, 
  2. OR they can be proactive and open the conversation to begin empowering their kids to reject pornography as soon as they have any access to the internet.

It’s trite but true:, “Be prepared, not scared!”


#2 Parents can’t just huddle and hope their kids won’t be exposed to pornography 

For decades now parents have tried the “cross your fingers” plan. Or the “I’ll wait until they come and tell me they’ve seen something” plan. Or the “I’ll put filters on our devices (and ignore the fact that once outside our house, everyone has a portal to porn in their pocket)” plan. All three plans have failed miserably

(I literally know several parents of adult children who have no idea their child struggled for decades with a porn addiction. These parents never opened up the conversation and neither did their child.)

Today’s parents must be different–they need to be bold and smart when it comes to digital dangers. The media and tech giants aren’t holding back or protecting your kids. So you have got to be proactive and arm your kids with an internal filter–a disposition that prepares them to reject pornography no matter where they are. 


#3 Kids are bombarded with sexual cues–cues we may not even see or notice anymore

We live in a world saturated by hyper-sexualized media, so believe me, your kid’s curiosity will be awakened earlier than you might suspect. And they have unprecedented access to the internet to go looking for answers. 

You may think these sexualized cues are bouncing off your child or whizzing by totally over their head. I promise you, kids may not understand what they’re seeing, but they are taking it all in like a sponge. And they’re being negatively impacted. 

I’ll never forget the story of a young husband who had been struggling with a porn addiction for most of his life. He recalls when it started–at age 5 he was watching a movie with his parents. A sexualized scene came on–his parents probably didn’t even worry about it. But that little boy felt something and his curiosity was piqued. Years later, after he was married with children, he finally started doing the hard and time-consuming work to overcome his addiction. 

So the best plan is to proactively counter these media influences. And teach kids early and often about your view of what’s right and wrong, good and bad, healthy and unhealthy when it comes to sex and media content.

#4 Sooner is safer 

I’ve heard so many stories of kindergarteners and even preschoolers getting exposed to pornography by other children with smartphones or unprotected iPads. Where? Often in places like school buses, playgrounds or friend’s houses. 

When parents begin these conversations, they have a golden opportunity to teach their own attitudes and values about pornography. Parents can explain that their child’s curiosity is normal, but warn them that following their curiosity about pornography is dangerous and can lead to addiction and many other problems. 

Additionally, you can assure your child that you will answer all their questions. When kids know their parents are on their side, waiting to help them instead of accusing or punishing them, their level of trust goes up and they can see their parents as allies.


#5 Conversations about porn can begin simply

We need to remember that when we talk about pornography, we’re going to give a very simple, age-appropriate definition. We’re not going to talk in detail about the horrors and violence of Gonzo porn. We are simply going to show our love by warning them about dangers, the same way we do with all of the other dangers in their world. 

Think about the Mr. Yukky stickers that go on poisonous substances in our homes–we need to put mental Mr. Yukky stickers on pornography, too! 

As soon as your child has any access to the internet, they need a gentle warning about pornography and other dangers. 


Bonus #6 Kids are safer from hands-on sexual abuse when they know how and why to reject pornography

It’s true! Pornography is the foremost grooming tool for predators who want to normalize children engaging in sexual acts. When kids are taught that no one, not even a trusted adult, should ever show a child pornography, they are empowered to report what happened and enlist your help to keep them out of danger. Read more here

For all of these reasons, please don’t hesitate to begin defending your kids against pornography and all forms of sexual exploitation.


About the Author: Kristen Jenson is the founder of Defend Young Minds and author of Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids. Kristen enjoys speaking, writing and anything else that will help empower kids to reject pornography. She is a mother of three and grandmother of two, and currently lives with her husband and awfully cute dog in Washington State.

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