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Protect Your Kids 3 minute read

5 Reasons Christian Parents Are Scared to Talk to Kids About Porn

Last Updated: September 18, 2019

She sat down to enjoy a cup of coffee and check her e-mail on her iPad. Trying to find a website she visited the day before, she opened the browser’s history. Instead, what she found completely shocked her. One after the other, a list of sexually explicit titles appeared in the history log. Page after page, the raunchy titles continued.

Slightly panicked, but paying careful attention to the details, she noticed these sites were all accessed in the afternoon the day before. Her husband had been at work then. Wasn’t him. Then she remembered letting her 10-year-old son borrow the iPad to play some games. Reality sank in. From what she could tell, her son had spent at least an hour or so glancing through these pages.

The question that plagued her was: What should she do now?

A Parental Nightmare

Many parents today feel like they are playing catch up when it comes to educating their kids about sex. It seems our sex-saturated world is getting the first word in too fast—and our kids are growing up too fast.

When a Christian parent discovers that their child or teenager has been looking at pornography, to some this can seem like a small nightmare. How can parents approach this topic with tact and love?

More importantly, what prevents parents from having this discussion, even when they know there is a problem?

1. Parents are uncomfortable talking about sex.

The first big reason parents don’t like the idea of talking about porn is because the idea of talking about anything sexual with their child bothers them. Porn touches on all the things about sex that seem like awkward topics: different body parts and what they do, the pleasure of orgasm, not to mention all the sexual variety porn portrays. If sexual topics are uncomfortable, the topic of porn is way out in left field.

2. They believe a little porn is nothing to worry about.

A child discovering his or her own sexual desires is as natural as the day is long. Our children are sexual beings. Parents often look back to their own childhood, how they clumsily figured out their own sexual feelings, and say to themselves, “Looking at a little porn won’t hurt anything. They’re going to see it anyway, right? I’ll just keep tabs on things. No need to make a big deal out of this.

3. They don’t have a good theology of sex.

It is one thing to be uncomfortable talking about sex with a child or teenager. But for many parents it goes beyond comfort to confusion: they simply don’t know what they would say about porn or sex. They would have a hard time coming up with words that give their children a foundational understanding of why God created sex, why God created it to be so pleasurable, and why porn is a problem.

4. They are afraid they will awaken sexual curiosity too early.

For many parents, the question of timing is the biggest concern. How early is too early? How late is too late? If they err, they would rather err on the side of silence. They don’t want to awaken undue sexual desire in their child too soon. What if they say something about sex and want to find pictures of it online—or worse yet, try it with someone? Many parents want to wait until they are absolutely sure the time is right.

5. They’ve never seen it done before.

Many parents know that talking to their kids about sex is a good idea, but some are paralyzed by the fear of “doing it wrong.” No one ever talked to them about sex when they were kids (aside from maybe a discussion about anatomy). The thought of a parent-child relationship that freely and naturally discusses sexual topics is about a foreign to them as Greek or Swahili.

Shattering the Fears

Five facts demolish these five fears:

1. You may be uncomfortable talking about sex, but you are the person most equipped in your child’s life to converse with them about it. No one knows your child like you do.

2. A little porn can do a lot of damage. Porn is the worst kind of sexual education a child can get, and the more they see, the more their sexual beliefs will be shaped by it.

3. You may not feel like you have a good “theology of sex,” but there’s never been a time in history easier to learn. Countless resources are available to parents today.

4. If your child/teen has been exposed to porn, it has already provoked a curiosity about sexual matters. This is not the time to hold back because you are afraid of speaking too soon. Your son or daughter needs your wisdom, not your silence. “Too much too soon” is a rare circumstance in today’s world.

5. You do not need to see this done in person to do it well. Glean from those who’ve done it before, and don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for advice. Don’t let inexperience or ignorance be an excuse anymore.

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