MAYDAY MOMENT
“What are they doing?”

Your 8-year-old sees a porn pop-up ad on the computer while they are doing their homework near you

Expert Response #1

Discuss the harm

Online pornography is big business where actors are paid to pretend to enjoy having sex. We need to talk some time about how damaging it can be for young people to spend lots of time watching it as opposed to having a real-life loving relationship

Janey Downshire, qualified counsellor and co-founder of Teenagers Translated

Expert Response #2

It’s not real life

This is what the internet calls sex but actually it is not what sex is really like. In real life sex is something nice between two people who love each other and is very different to what you have just seen on the screen. Let’s check the computer so that you don’t have to see that kind of sex. It’s much better to ask me about it when you want to and then we can find some good books to read together. 

Yoan Reed, director of Teaching Lifeskills and Outspoken Sex Ed 

Expert Response #3

Explore their feelings

Something which grown-up people sometimes do. I am glad you told me that this happened, as it may have been frightening for you to see, so would you like to talk about how you are feeling? I can make sure that it doesn’t happen again. In the meantime, let’s see if we can find what you were looking for together…

Josie Rayner-Wells, national PSHE/RSE adviser

Whatever you say next, keep these things in mind…

  • Check safe search settings on the device(s) your child accesses straightaway. Come up with some new ground rules and solutions collaboratively

  • Tell your child that you are pleased that you can talk about this together and that you’re willing to tell them more. Avoid interrogations: do you want to know what happened at the cost of making your child feel under attack? 
     

  • Emphasise that porn can hurt children and young people and that if they come across it they should close their eyes, turn off the screen or go do something else to distract themselves – and talk to you

  • Tell them they can find out anything they want to know from you and that you want to talk with them
     

CRISIS NOT AVERTED?
More help with porn and younger kids…

FAMILY PLANNING ASSOCIATION  |  Tips for Parents sheet

Concise tip sheet to help parents have open, honest conversations about relationships, sex and porn from the FPA  Go to Let’s talk porn >

CULTURE REFRAMED  |  Parents of Tweens course

The Parents of Tweens course guides parents of kids aged roughly 9 to 12 through topics that provide skills to build your resilience and resistance to hypersexualized culture and the impacts of pornography  Go to Culture Reframed >

Fight the New Drug.jpg

FIGHT THE NEW DRUG  |  Conversation Blueprint 

Fight the New Drug exists to raise awareness of the harmful effects of porn using science, facts, and personal accounts. Go to their conversation blueprint tool and choose “My child” to get prepared  Go to A Conversation Blueprint 

More Outspoken advice on #Porn&Sexting

The full guide

A Natural Girl

Tips for this age

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#PornStrikesYoung

Remember: every child is different. Adjust these suggestions for the age and stage of your child. Children with special educational needs and disabilities, looked-after children and children who have experienced abuse may all need different support.

 

If you’re in doubt about your child’s emotional, physical or psychological development, please seek the advice of a professional

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