1. Be the first to talk about the harms of pornography.
Some parents worry that they’ll awaken a child’s curiosity by talking to them about pornography. Unfortunately, today’s parents have only two choices—be the first to teach a child what porn is and why it’s dangerous OR let the internet, friends, or even a sexual predator entice them into viewing it. Parents need to set themselves up as the experts who can answer their kids’ questions about sex and its dark counterfeit, pornography.
As soon as kids have any access to the internet (including mobile devices or at their grandparents’ house), they need to understand that viewing pornography can be harmful to both their spirit and their brain. Ultimately, kids themselves are going to make the decision to turn away from pornography. Teach them that although it’s normal to be curious, following their curiosity about pornography can be dangerous.
2. Use family home evenings.
Family home evening is a great time to begin these conversations. Parents can help their kids understand that pornography tells lies about how people should treat one another. In addition, continuing to view pornography has the potential to create a destructive addiction.
The Church has developed a series of Family home evening lessons to help parents arm their kids against pornography. Another great resource is the Church’s video “What Should I Do When I See Pornography?” I love how the video models kids learning to reject pornography and talking to their parents about what they’ve seen.
One mom emailed me about her family’s experience talking about pornography:
“We used your book, Good Pictures Bad Pictures, for our family home evening with our eight kids, ages 1-16. Before we met, I read it twice, highlighting the things I wanted to make sure to say, and then just showed them the pictures as we talked about it. This way even the little ones were able to pay attention and we made it through the whole book in one sitting. We had a great discussion and there was such a special feeling as we talked about how they are Heavenly Father's children and they need to stay away from Satan's traps and remain clean, pure, and free.”
Kids will be much safer if parents are the first to teach them what pornography is, why it’s dangerous, and how to reject it.