How to talk to your kids about porn from the age of SIX to stop warped views of sex

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How to talk to your kids about porn from the age of SIX to stop warped views of sex



PARENTS should start talking to their kids about porn from the age of six, experts have said.
Opening up about the taboo subject can help prevent youngsters growing up with warped views of sex.
4 Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, ambassador for Internet Matters, is urging parents to start talking to their kids about porn from the age of six
4 To help parents Dr Linda has worked with Internet Matters to create a series of guides for parents
Most kids see porn before age 11
There’s a high chance most kids will see porn before they leave primary school, psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos warned.
To help worried parents know where to start, Dr Linda, who is an ambassador for Internet Matters, has written guides to assist parents following a survey that found parents are worried about having difficult chats.
The report We Need to Talk About Pornography found nearly half of parents worry porn is giving their kids “improper sex education” and an unrealistic view of normal sex.
More than one in three parents are worried their child will become desensitised to brutal or violent content.
And 53 per cent of mums fear exposure to porn will give their kids a poor portrayal of women as subjects of abuse.
The research comes as the Government announced last month that a porn block would come into force on July 15 – making age verification to watch porn mandatory.
Dr Linda said: “A great deal of online porn promotes misogyny, objectifies women and gives an unrealistic view of what sex is.
“Yet parents often lack the confidence in being able to talk to their children about porn.
Just because a child is young doesn’t mean parents should avoid having a conversation – especially as we know there’s a chance they’ll see it before they leave primary schoolDr Linda Papadopoulos
“When so many parents feel it’s inevitable their child will see porn at some stage – with parents whose children had seen porn telling us the average age was 11 – it’s vital we get to speak to them first, before they have the chance to see a porn video for themselves.
“Just because a child is young doesn’t mean parents should avoid having a conversation – especially as we know there’s a chance they’ll see it before they leave primary school.
“Parents must address online pornography head on, no matter how awkward they anticipate it to be as the effects of seeing it and not addressing it at a young age can be damaging.
“Have a conversation with your child and allow them to know you’re there for them should they come across anything at all that makes them feel uncomfortable.”Have those awkward chats
4 It’s important parents speak to their kids about relationships, to help them understand that what they see in porn videos is not the norm
4 While it is an awkward conversation, Dr Linda urges parents to regularly talk to their kids, and help them understand sex is a normal part of a relationship
Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters, said their work speaking to parents has highlighted a huge range of issues surrounding porn – and the impact it can have on future generations.
“Parents are concerned, yet often find it a struggle to talk about it with their children,” she said.
“Recognising they need help in addressing their concerns with their children, I’m delighted that our new guides help parents address this issue for children as young as six, in a sensible age-appropriate way that helps contextualise it.
“There is no substitute to having an open dialogue with your child about everything they see and do online, even if it does seem awkward at times.”
As well as the video guides, Dr Linda has compiled a helpful list of Dos and Don’ts for parents.
Talking porn with 6-10s
DO…

Talk about it in the context of relationships – to help kids understand boundaries in relationships
Talk about it in terms of safety – in the same way you would talk about anything they may not be ready to stumble across
Make a habit of telling them to feel empowered to decide what happens to their body – don’t force hugs if they don’t want to, let them discover what’s comfortable for them
Get into the habit of chatting about experiences and feelings

DON’T…

Make it taboo to talk sex and relationships – point out what healthy relationships look like, kindness and respect for example
Make porn something they’re scared to talk about – don’t let your discomfort turn into a issue for them

Talking porn with 11-13s
DO…

Make porn part of the sex and relationships chat – acknowledge it exists
Make it part of the online safety talk
Tell them what to do if they come across porn – be clear they should close the window, let you know and talk about it while assuring them you won’t be angry
Let them know they can ask you questions about it anytime

DON’T…

Think of curiosity as abnormal, it’s natural – don’t make them feel bad about wondering about it, instead let them know why you think it’s a bad idea they see it
Ignore their questions – even if they’re awkward, help your kids navigate through the maze and talk about it regularly with them
Ignore the reality most kids see porn by the time they are 11
See your child differently if you find out they’ve actively searched for porn – curiosity is a normal part of growing up, the way you react to your kids will impact how they see themselves

Talking porn with teenagers
DO…

Discuss unrealistic representations of sex in porn – stress it has little bearing on reality
Talk about unrealistic body images in porn – for boys and girls it’s important to talk about everything from fake boobs to hairless bodies
Talk about the impact of sexualisation on young people – point it out wherever you see it, in magazines, music videos etc
Get them to think critically about what they see – don’t let them be passive viewers, get them to think about why women are depicted as they are

DON’T…

Allow pornographers to talk to them before you do – influence them before the porn industry does
Make them feel guilty about what they’ve seen – you want them to feel comfortable talking about it
Forget to check in with them regularly – it’s not a  one-off conversation but an on-going one you need to have regularly
Make it difficult for them to come to you – have an open door policy, be patient and be on their side

Margot James, minister for digital said the new research from Internet Matters shows just how concerned parents are.
“It is why we are taking action with our world-leading law on age verification for online pornography coming into force on July 15th,” she said.
“We’re ensuring these sites act more responsibly, but parents still need to have regular conversations with children about staying safe online and the importance of healthy relationships.”
PARENTS’ FEARS OVER PORN REVEALEDINTERNET Matters quizzed more than 2,000 parents about their views on online porn, and their fears for their kids.The findings show:

52 per cent worry their kids will think porn represents typical sex
47 per cent said it gives a poor portrayal of women including violence and abuse
44 per cent said it will influence what kids expect in normal sexual relationships
38 per cent fear their kids will have expectations to take part in specific sex acts as part of a relationship
36 per cent said porn gives an improper education about consent
34 per cent said it harms their kids’ body image
27 per cent said it encourages poor self-esteem as kids judge themselves against others
33 per cent of parents worry their child will become addicted to porn
64 per cent of parents of girls who’ve seen porn were worried their daughters would share inappropriate sexual images

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