2 minute read

My Child Just Saw Porn: A Conversation Guide for Parents

Last Updated: October 30, 2020

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

He was only 8 years old when he first saw pornography. Sadly, it took months for his parents to discover his growing curiosity.

He had heard the Bible story dozens of times about how Adam and Eve were naked in the Garden of Eden, but for some reason, this time hearing the story piqued his curiosity. He wanted to know what “naked” men and women looked like. So that’s exactly what he asked Google one afternoon.

What he got was an eyeful of some of the strangest images he could imagine. By the time he got to the videos, he couldn’t really even tell what was going on. Moans and screams, words he had never heard before, flesh on flesh. It was all so shocking to him, even disgusting at times, but something in him wanted to see more.

For several weeks, whenever he was alone with the laptop, he would think about returning to those websites. Sometimes he didn’t. Other times he did. And with each glance, the images drew him in more.

Talking About Porn: A Difficult Conversation

Parents want to prepare their children well for adulthood. Most parents want to help their kids navigate the choppy waters of adolescence as they fumble with clumsy sexual feelings and emotions. But what should parents do when their child’s senses have been assaulted by graphic sexual images?

  • Some parents heap angry comments on their children: “You know we don’t look at that kind of stuff in this house!”
  • Other parents are bewildered: “I just can’t understand why you would want to look at these things!”
  • Some parents are minimalists: “If you ever run into images online you don’t understand, you can always ask me about them.”
  • But many parents are simply silent.

None of these approaches are the right conversation. Instead, parents need to be able to instill in their children both a sense of the goodness of sexuality and the harms of pornography, all the while maintaining an open, caring relationship with their child.

A Conversation Guide for Parents

When Your Child Is Looking at Porn - spread

Download a free copy of When Your Child is Looking at Porn: A Step-By-Step Guide for Christian Parents. This short guide offers parents tips on how to prepare for this conversation and a four-step conversation model. Each step comes with sample “scripts” for what to say and how to say it.

In this guide you’ll get answers to questions like:

  • Why is this conversation even necessary?
  • Won’t this conversation awaken more sexual curiosity in them too early?
  • What if I’ve never spoken with my child about anything sexual?
  • What’s the difference between “using” porn and being “addicted” to porn?
  • How should I talk about this if my child hasn’t even hit puberty yet?
  • What if my teen is addicted to porn?
  • How should I protect my son or daughter from future exposure?
  • What if I confront them, and they deny it?
  • Should this all take place in one discussion?
  • What if my son or daughter just emotionally shuts down during the discussion?
  • Should I punish my child for looking at porn?
  • What if I have a history of looking at porn? What should I share with my child?
  • Is it best for mom or dad to do this talk?
  • When and how should I talk about masturbation?
  • How can I use the Bible to teach my child about sex?

Download your free guide today.

  • Comments on: My Child Just Saw Porn: A Conversation Guide for Parents
    1. diana decker on

      I am looking for resources for counseling, conferences etc on porn addiction if anyone could please call me I would appreciate it

      904 521 7506

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        I highly recommend you look into the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. You can find a counselor in your area here.

      • Karen Crawford on

        Diana, Check out our website and click on contact us on the women’s page. It will come to me and I can help you and give you resources. We are located in the Seattle WA area, but I have contacts around the world. Karen

      • gary on

        Hi there! I have been a part of the Pure Desire ministry for over 6 months now. Its an amazing ministry for sexual healing. It is for 18+ only. Hope this helps!

      • Mareta Tovata on

        I suggest “Theology of the Body” also as an option for healing. God bless.

      • Luke Gilkerson on

        That resource has served a lot of Catholic families very well.

    2. Former addict on

      You will find many resources at http://www.drdougweiss.com/

      Dr. Doug Weiss has helped my wife and I through his counseling (both in person and via telephone), books, and other resources.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Dr. Weiss is a good friend of ours at Covenant Eyes. He has some great resources.

    3. JulieS on

      Do you have a resource like this for teens?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        The guide is for both younger children and teenagers.

    4. Megan Hansen on

      Especially helpful will be resources and books under the “Resources” tab. Also try a book called “He Restoreth My Soul” by Donald Hilton, a neurosurgeon. Chapter 6 goes way in depth with the science/physiology behind addiction, particularly porn/sex addiction. I’ve found it very helpful in understanding my own brain and overcoming my addiction.

      Reply
    5. george m. nadon on

      a big part of my parenting life is over but a new chapter begins. I watched porn for many years. It ruined two marriages, two children and me. I am 56.I began around age 20 with magazines. About age 27 my wife and I got a computer and soon it I was quickly pulled inTo the darkness while living a Christian life on the outside. I went deeper and deeper until It totally reduced me to nothing. Nervous breakdown and committed a felony at age 48. I could have been prosecuted for my involvement porn but thank God I was not. I have received God’s grace yet the damage from many years of hidden sin remains.

      all these yearsI have been going through a healing process including a class called Living Waters for sex addicts. I have jumped back into that life many times since then. yet little by little its been squeezed out of my life. Clean water has been pouring into the dirty cup. It runs clean now.

      many thanks to God for leading me to all the right counselors, pastors, and also your ministry. It’s worth every penny. Thank you so much for helping me through the most difficult time I can now say I am seeking righteousness I’m bringing glory to my Father in Heaven. My past is forgiven and forgotten. I’m looking to the future and pray everyday that I can be used of him.

      my daughter is married. she is 35. Two children. I may never see them again. My little girl. no one can put words to this pain.

      my son is born again and seeks my advice. What and honor that God can trust me with this stewardship. yes he does still live a double life I pray for him daily I know his soul is secure I just pray that he would desire more from God

      god bless everyone on staff in Owosso Michigan. I hope one day soon to get up to see you, I’m Less than an hour away, so count on it. Hmmm. Maybe I can bring Kyle.

      thank you for this past letter and all of yours I read some of them. they all hit home in some way

      again thank you all for helping us clean up this dirty dirty mess. You truly do get your hands dirty I pray your minds remain clean and clear. Pure and sanctified. I love you all.

      George Nadon

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Thanks for sharing your story here, George! If you ever want write a guest post for our blog to tell us more of it let me know.

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