How do I talk to my kid about Internet porn?

There's no sugarcoating it: It's easy for kids to find porn online, even through completely innocent searches. Many parents find themselves confronting this issue much sooner than they imagined, with kids who may not even understand exactly what sex is. If younger kids are frequent Internet users, it's a good idea to set up content filters or parental controls to reduce the chances they'll be exposed to inappropriate images or video. Once kids are a little older, you can teach them to click away from content that is clearly not intended for kids their age and explain that certain stuff on the Internet is for adults only.

If you think your kids might encounter porn online, either by accident or on purpose, it's a good idea to explain what pornography is in an age-appropriate way.

  • Tell your kids that it's natural to be curious. Avoid saying something that may make them feel ashamed.
  • Make sure they know you're available to talk about any subject -- nothing's off the table.
  • Look for other resources -- books, age-appropriate websites, movies -- that can educate your kids about sex, intimacy, puberty, and relationships.
  • For older kids, explain that pornography typically presents the extremes of human relationships -- and that the people depicted are usually paid actors. It's not representative of real intimacy.
  • For teens, explain your family's policy on viewing Internet porn. One thing to consider: Some porn sites can introduce harmful viruses onto your home computer.
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Comments

Kid, 12 years old

Porn isn't good for kids to watch. Some teens or adults may use it for masturbation though. I have seen porn and personally, I don't like it. It isn't realistic and you need to teach your kids that sex usually isn't that glamorous.
Teen, 15 years old written by Common sense LST

Just explain to them that it is a like a drug, it is not normal to look at it, those types of websites introduce harmful viruses onto your computer, and once you are on those websites, it is hard to click out of it. Just lecture them without being too overcriticizing.
Parent of a 12 year old written by HGolightly

This is not going to help. The internet needs to cleaned up. If a store was selling pornographic magazines to children in a store the community would be up in arms; just because it's hidden inside their phone doesn't make it ok. Apple and all the technology billionaires need to be held accountable for what they are doing to our children developmentally.
Kid, 11 years old

Ok, so when i first discovered "porn" i COMPLETELY didn't understand it. the only thing i could see on the screen was, a dirty old man and what looked like a prostitute. and now almost 4 years later,i'm STILL very confused on what it is. i've been doing research to try and understand what it is, and usually my mom goes crazy and thinks i'm a porn addict or something. but i keep telling her that i'm researching it... and sometimes i research it with my friend. BUT unlike me. she thinks they're so pretty and that she wants to dress in such a disgusting way, actually even ACT like them... and why would i do research with an almost-10 year old... but anyways, i'd wanna be 12 if i were you to watch porn ( and if your underage like me, it should be only for research reasons and you have parental guidance.)
Teen, 13 years old written by Reader Girl

Unless you discover your kid is watching porn or they ask about it there is no need to try to explain it. Trust me, most tweens and young teens are not interested and most older teens already have figured it out. If you end up needing to have a talk about it, just tell them the facts and don’t go into detail.
Teen, 13 years old written by znicolas6

Honestly, porn isn't that bad. While I agree with it not being for younger kids(under 12), it can help you release sexual tension and watching it doesn't make you sick. As long as you don't become addicted and know that porn isn't real then It is fine.
Teen, 17 years old written by Dantonatiuh

Hey there, In my opinion, it will be better if your kids first learn about what sex is, after you teach them about sex, teach them the difference about love/sex and porn, that way they can understand the differences of natural love and porn, when i was young (about 9-10 years old), i was accidentally introduced to porn when i was playing in my own computer, but because i didn't really grasp what natural love/sex was, it was difficult for my brain to process two adults having sex, and then proceeded to get an obsession after later "exploring" what pornography was, so its important for your kids to know what sex is first before they just straight up encounter porn.
Teen, 17 years old written by Zane 1

I'm gonna be that guy, but porn is stupid. To tell you the truth, most porn these days only focus on the act of penetration. Sensual sex should be encouraged, not what they show now. If you don't know what I mean then please refer to this video. Yes a ted talk, just watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRJ_QfP2mhU
Teen, 17 years old written by Dantonatiuh

I agree with you Zane 1, I dislike porn that focuses on the act of penetration, I also want sensual sex to be encouraged.
Teen, 14 years old written by tinyrex11

Internet porn is not that bad for teens to watch but if you are a kid below 12 you should not watch it but if you already had the talk on the birds and the bees then you should be fine. I will admit I have watched it a couple times but it has been a year now and I haven't watched it. Mostly because I have a girlfriend and it dose not feel right to look at other women while in a relationship. Plus it is sometimes good to watch porn because you wont have wet dreams.
Teen, 13 years old written by Emmerz

You shouldn't honestly. It's sick and horrible. You should just wait and tell them about it when they're 15 or 16, or they can find out by themselves.. Hopefully they don't though. You should protect them from the impure things on the internet!!!
Kid, 11 years old

I think porn is not a subject little kids should know but if your older you will under stand It better though I regret knowing what it is
Parent of a 12 year old written by HGolightly

This is sad. Especially for girls since most porn is violent towards girls instead of an act of love and intimacy.
Teen, 15 years old written by TheRealist

Porn isn't such a bad thing as long as it is watched only occasionally. Trying to force your kids away from it won't work, if they want to see it they will and if they don't they will stay away from it. No need to be so shocked either almost everyone, especially teens, watch it from time to time.
Teen, 14 years old written by Basicly No One

Talk to them when they are older. My mom didn't talk to me about it until about two months ago. It's a very awkward convo. It's some nasty stuff.