Go ahead. Say the word “pornography”! It may be hard, but it’s an important step in bringing the destructive nature of pornography out into the light.

Now say it to your kids.

OK, that’s even harder. But do it. Tell them what it is and how it can damage their brain.

My neighbor, Nicole, a licensed social worker, was losing sleep over how she was going to talk to her boys about pornography. She could hardly imagine saying the word out loud to them. But she ramped up her courage and now she and her boys point it out if they see it, “That’s pornography!”

She feels so empowered and so do her boys.

It’s crucial we get comfortable with the vocabulary. Kids need to know that there is no shame in talking about the harms of pornography.

If we don’t get over our own reluctance, our kids are left defenseless in an increasingly pornified world.

One mom I talked to said that her kids reacted with a “too much information” attitude when she broached the subject. But that’s OK! Kids may not feel especially comfortable with it either. But now that they’ve heard it from mom (or dad), they’ve got some context to deal with any future exposure.

And next time mom wants to talk about pornography, it won’t seem as shocking. It’s called “conditioning.” As we openly talk about pornography, it gets easier and easier.

Have you been able to talk to your kids about pornography? How did you get started? And how do you feel about it now? I’d love to see your comments!

Let’s all get talking about it and help each other “porn-proof” our kids!

Kristen Jenson
Kristen A. Jenson is the founder of Protect Young Minds and author of Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids. Kristen enjoys speaking, writing and anything else that will help empower kids to reject pornography. Kristen earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and a master’s degree in Organizational Communication. Kristen currently lives with her husband in Washington State, where she enjoys growing a vegetable garden, watching Masterpiece Theater, and taking long walks with friends who tolerate her incessant talking about you know what. Above all else, her husband and three children are her greatest treasures.