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Rules of Engagement

With such a vast variety of information and images found online, the Internet has opened up a wide new set of topics for parents to discuss with their children.  Most of us find it difficult to talk to our children about sex in general, let alone, the harmful effects of pornography.  Yet, it's important to remember that even if your children are not looking for Internet pornography, chances are, they have come across harmful sexual content at some point, and it is your job to protect and guide them about their natural questions about sex.


"If I was a parent, I'd want to establish that relationship with my kid and to actually be honest with them and talk to them, and say, 'I went through this, and even seeing pornography once can just hurt you so much.  Seeing little pictures can put all these things in your mind.' It's just horrible."
— Aaron, Age 19

 
My child has stumbled upon online pornography—now what?
 
First, try to:
 
·         Understand that children are naturally curious about sex
·         Realize that kids need and want adult guidance
·         Educate your child about healthy sexuality, respect for themselves and the opposite sex
·         Help your child to replace counterfeit messages with messages of wholesome sexual values
  
Keep the lines of communication open by listening to what your kids say and what they don’t say.
 
Ask your children:
 
1) Have you ever seen something online that made you uncomfortable or curious?
2) Have you accidentally seen sexual pictures online?
3) How did that happen? What did you do? How did it make you feel?
4) Have any of your friends ever accessed pornography? Accidentally or intentionally?

Internet Safety 101® Program Video: 'Kids' Advice about Discussing Pornography'