embarrassed momKids say the darnedest things! Sometimes they rat out their parents. (Oh I remember those times!)

Here’s a story you may not believe, but it’s true.  I recently heard it from a teacher who told me that a three-year old boy in her pre-school class remarked one day, “Daddy lets me sit on the couch with him and watch the naked people on TV.”

WHAT??? I am NOT making this stuff up! I only wish I were!

This teacher is one of those force-of-nature types, and boy did she get back with that father! He was a bit dumbfounded to hear that his son was reporting on his porn habit.

So what does this incident have to do with you?

two girls with cell phoneEven if they never hear the word “pornography,” your kids are going to hear about porn. And it doesn’t matter if they’re in a private schools or public schools—it’s everywhere.

So how do you prepare them? Here are three tips to help kids talk to you about their experiences when they’re away from home.

  1. Teach kids to notice differences.  You can teach your kids that, outside of your home, people are sometimes different. Without even mentioning “pornography” or “naked people,” you can ask your kids to report back on the differences they find in school or in any other environment.
  2. Listen carefully and respectfully. If they tell you something crazy (like the true story above), don’t get freaked out. You might scare your child into silence, or worse, shame.
  3. Reaffirm your family’s values. Be clear, but don’t get preachy. Here’s a possible response: “Joey’s father might watch naked people on TV, but we don’t. Our bodies are special and we keep them covered up. We would never allow naked pictures of ourselves to be put on TV. And we don’t watch others who do.”

Conversation togetherAs kids get older, your discussions will hopefully continue. Kids may ask questions that temporarily stump you, but tell them you’ll think about it and then get back with them. Children are smart and they want to gain understanding. Who better to teach them how to navigate a pornified world than their own parents?

Have your kids come home with some crazy stories? Have they ever stumped you with a question about sex or pornography? How did you respond? Please share! I love to read your comments!

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.
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