As parents, we want our children to come unto Christ and experience the peace and joy the gospel brings. Many of us worry about how to help our children handle the challenges they will encounter during life, including pornography use. Raising children in a world with many trials and temptations can be frightening. However, as we pray for guidance, we will be blessed with the direction we need to help safeguard our children.
Many parents wonder how to teach their children about pornography. Others aren’t sure how to help a child who is struggling with pornography use. This site provides answers, inspiration, and support for parents in their efforts to teach their children about the dangers of pornography. It focuses on three essential principles:
We protect our children by teaching them how to respond to pornography before they ever encounter it. As we have regular conversations with our children about their lives and important topics like sexuality, we can help them feel comfortable turning to us with their questions and needs. In addition, these conversations can help our children be prepared to talk with us if they encounter pornography.
Teaching about healthy sexuality in age-appropriate ways helps prepare our children to recognize truth (see Boyd K. Packer, “Do Not Fear,” Apr. 2004 general conference). As families, we can discuss standards around technology use, put technological and spiritual filters in place, and plan how to respond to pornography exposure.
You might consider watching the video “What Should I Do When I See Pornography?” (below) with your children as you discuss sexuality and the dangers of pornography.
If we discover our children have been involved with pornography, we should respond with love. We may feel surprised, hurt, or disappointed, but responding negatively may increase our children’s shame. Expressing love and teaching the joy of repentance helps our children feel strengthened and understand that they are worthy of God’s forgiveness.
Each child is different and will have a unique path away from pornography. As parents, we can encourage our children to seek revelation regarding their individual needs. We can also seek revelation on how to assist them.
We should aim to help our children take responsibility for their choices, have a desire to change, and seek methods of restitution. If our children continue to struggle after doing all they can, it is appropriate to seek additional resources.
Adjusting for Our Time
The world is ever changing, and the challenges our children face are different than the challenges we experienced growing up. Living in a sexualized world increases the possibility of our children encountering pornography at some point in their lives. It’s important that we prepare them to know what to do when they are exposed to pornography. As we have frequent and appropriate conversations with our children about healthy sexuality, we can help them know that we are their most reliable source for information about sexuality.