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How Might a Parent Confront Pornography with their Child?

(Family Honor Editor’s Note: This is the sixth installment in a series on how parents might consider addressing various challenging scenarios with their kids.  In fielding situations like the one presented below, the important thing is to respond in an honest, age-appropriate way that incorporates a sense of awe and wonder for being made in God’s image and likeness – not just offering a lecture or a biology lesson.  We as parents must be perceived as askable, credible, warm, and caring for our children to want to seek us out for answers to such questions.  For a much more comprehensive way of approaching these types of issues, please consider attending a full “Leading & Loving” program in your area.  See our program schedule here, or contact us about how to bring a program to your area.)

Parents!  What would you do in a situation involving pornography?

You walk in the room unannounced and your 10-year-old son quickly hits the escape button on the computer but not before you see a full frontal nude picture of a woman.

  1. First, clarify how the child happened upon the nude picture.  Random? Goes to this website regularly? How did he know to go there? How often he had been looking at porn?  This should not be an interrogation but a calm exploration.
  2. How did he feel about looking at these pictures? Curious? Uncomfortable? Ashamed?  Why did he escape when you walked into the room?
  3. Validate that there is a natural curiosity and a desire to understand the changes, the differences, how things work. Then, depending on his responses, consider the discussion below:

It’s okay to be interested in the human body.  The body was made a certain way by God, so it’s good. In fact, in the Bible, God tells us that the human person was made in His image and we are very good.  It’s the body that actually shows us the person.  What I mean by that, is the person you are and the body you have are the same. They are so “together” that how you treat the body affects the person. It’s kinda like if someone were to tease you about having big ears, or a funny sounding voice. Wouldn’t that make you mad?  If they just pick out one part of you, it doesn’t feel very good, because you know there’s so much more to you than that. You’re funny; you like to play soccer; you honor and serve God as an altar boy; and you’ve been getting all A’s and B’s this year.  Now doesn’t that sound more like the whole Josh? Isn’t that how you want people to see you?  Well, unfortunately, those kind of images keep us from seeing the whole person. They can never show us if that person loves God, is getting good grades in school, likes to paint, or plays basketball. The way in which those pictures were taken doesn’t honor the person, either. All those pictures show is some special parts of the body. And if we keep looking at them, we don’t notice the person, just their body parts.  We’ve reduced the person to just parts, and that’s not how God wants us to see people.”

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