Thing 3 informed me last night that some of the kids at school were looking at p*rn.
Having 2 older boys I know that kids are often first exposed to p*rn at school or at friends’ houses. So I have been teaching T3 about pornography and what to do when he is exposed since he was 5. (It isn’t a question about IF, it is WHEN, because they WILL be exposed. His older brothers were 13 and 10 at that point and I wished I had taught them sooner.)
When he told me that kids were looking at pornography at school, I stayed calm and asked him to tell me about what had happened. (Thanks to learning to be a SMART parent I knew how to react.)
T3 – “There were kids looking at a Greek book and there were statues of naked people!”
Me – (Internal sigh of relief.)
T3 – “I told them that it was pornography and it makes chemicals go in their brain and that makes them want to look at it more, so it can be addictive. I told them to put it away. Some of the kids didn’t know what pornography was, so I told them it was pictures or videos of naked people.”
Me – “Good job! You followed many of the steps we have been talking about what you should do when you see pornography. Did you remember to tell an adult?”
T3 – “Yes, I went and told the teacher.”
Me – “I am so proud of you. I am glad you knew what to do. Do you have any questions?”
T3 – “Maybe naked statues are ART?” He asked in an incredulous voice…
All Those Conversations With My Boys are Working!
The conversation continued for a while after that. Even though what he saw and labeled as pornography wouldn’t be considered pornography by most standards, I was proud that he knew what to do when he saw something he thought was pornography and that he DID it!
I was SO happy that I had taken the time to educate myself about protecting my kids from pornography and I have been teaching him and my other boys what I have learned. We talk about it a lot at my house, probably at least twice a month. I am even happier to see that it paid off in this situation.
I e-mailed my fellow parents
Then I realized I needed to reach out to the parents in the class and let them know what had happened. Mostly because didn’t want the kids to go home and Google pornography, I wanted their parents to talk to them about it!
I sent them an e-mail and shared the conversation I posted above and added –
Now some of your kids have been told what pornography is, if they didn’t already know. It may be something you want to teach your kids about as it is very prevalent in youth culture.
- Kids are watching it on their phone on the playground and passing the phone around. (At least at other public schools, I don’t know of that happening at our elementary school – just my older sons’ schools.)
- Teenagers are watching it on school busses to sporting events.
- The average age of exposure to pornography is 10.
I actually blog about keeping kids safe from pornography, so I have some resources for you if you want.
2 great books and a video to help talk with your kids, (my favorite is Good Pictures Bad Pictures)
Circle by Disney – great tool for a family
Other tools and guidelines to keep your kids safe.
YOU should be the one teaching your kids, because they WILL be exposed!
I was a little nervous to send that e-mail, but in the end have only gotten positive feedback.
If you haven’t talked to your kids yet, please do! Parents should be the ones to teach their children about pornography, you will probably not be lucky enough to have T3 around the first time they are exposed to it!