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What to do if your child is reading pornography?

Family Education Eric Jones 218 views 0 comments

With the rise of the internet and convenience of technology, kids are exposed to adult content at a much younger age than ever before. As a result, parents may find themselves in an uncomfortable situation where they discover their child has been reading pornography.

Firstly, it’s important to note that curiosity about sex is natural for children and teenagers. However, it’s also necessary to address this behaviour in a mature and sensitive way. Parents need to keep in mind that shaming, blaming or punishing a child may not only cause further damage but can also cause feelings of guilt and shame.

Before determining what to do, it’s important to analyze the root of the problem.

  • Age-appropriate material: Children aged between 0-8 years are usually interested in pictures and drawings of naked bodies and sexual organs of their own gender, but rarely show an interest in sexual activity. However, children between 8-12 years old may start showing an interest in more explicit material, including pornographic content.
  • Curiosity: Curiosity about sex is normal, but if it seems excessive, it can be an indication of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Inappropriate Content Accessibility: It’s no secret that the internet has made adult content increasingly accessible, thus making it easier for kids to find, read and watch.
  • Peer Influence: Peer pressure or influence can play a role in a child’s behaviour. If a child’s friends are also exposed to porn, they may think it’s acceptable.
  • Psychological Issues: Children who have experienced sexual abuse or trauma may also show an interest in pornography, and it’s crucial to address and identify these issues.

Solving the problem

Once the root of the problem has been identified, it’s essential to come up with a solution. Here are some recommended steps parents can take.

1. Open communication

The first step is to engage in an honest and open conversation with your child. Create a safe and nonjudgmental environment and encourage your child to share why they were reading pornography, what drew them to it and how they feel about it.

2. Education

It’s essential to educate children about the consequences and dangers of pornography. While it’s natural for children to be curious about sex, it’s important to teach them about the long-term effects of exposure to pornography. Parents can also consider recommending age-appropriate books or videos that provide honest and fact-based information on sex.

3. Parental Controls

Parents can use parental controls on their devices to restrict access to inappropriate content. This can be a useful tool to limit exposure to pornographic material.

4. Offer Alternatives

Parents can offer their children alternative activities, such as playing sports, practicing an instrument or engaging in creative projects. Encouraging children to spend more time outdoors can also be beneficial for their overall wellbeing.

5. Seek Professional Help

If a child continues to show interest in pornography despite the above steps, it’s essential to seek professional help. Child therapists or psychologists can help identify the underlying issues leading to the behaviour and create a personalized plan to help the child overcome it.

Discovering that a child has been reading pornography can be a difficult and uncomfortable situation for parents. Still, it’s essential to address this behaviour in a mature and sensitive way. By taking proactive measures such as engaging in open communication, offering alternatives, and providing education, parents can help their child develop a healthy relationship with their sexuality and prevent harmful behaviours. If these measures prove ineffective, seeking professional help is always an option.

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