How can I talk to my child about online dangers without scaring them or making them curious?

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Many parents worry that if they talk to their kids about pornography it may scare them or make them curious. Here are four myths about talking about pornography.

polly onlineMyth #1 Talking about Pornography with Scare Them

The truth is pornography is scary. The images are frightening and disturbing. When my husband was exposed to pornography at age 14 on a scout trip, he spent the night crying, hoping that the other boys wouldn’t notice.

Pornography can also be very exciting. It creates a chemical rush. Kids need to know these two things about pornography – 1) that it contains violent, ugly depictions of sex that are not real and nothing like healthy sex, and 2) that because we are human, our bodies may respond in a surprising way to these disturbing images.

It’s okay to be scared of pornography. In fact, if you’re not a little bit scared, you may not understand the facts. We don’t avoid talking about drugs because drug addiction can be scary, we face it and tell our kids the facts. We can be the same way with pornography.

Myth #2 Talking about Pornography will Make Them Curious
Let’s face it, kids are already curious about pornography and sex. If they have parents that talk about it openly and frequently, they will be much less curious than if it’s a secret topic at their house. If a child doesn’t have accurate information, they generally turn to their friends. But if a child is educated about the truth of pornography at home, they will not be as likely to believe false information from their friends.

Your child is bombarded with sexualized images everyday. Acknowledging the images and talking about how they are fake, they objectify women, they can be addictive, is much better than ignoring them. Your child will notice them, and even more they’ll notice your silence. If you are silent, they won’t know what you think about it. Silence creates more curiosity than open dialogue ever will.

For more about how to help your child avoid addiction, a free webinar is available at Addo Recovery.

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