Porn Aftermath: 3 Simple Steps to Help Your Child Process Their Feelings

by Jul 18, 2013Emotional Resilience, Help Kids Heal

Shocking WebsiteSadly, it’s inevitable. At some point your child is going to be exposed to pornography. Hopefully, you’ve talked to them about what it is and why it’s dangerous. But even after several porn talks, kids need help sorting out their confused feelings. If they feel comfortable talking with you after they’ve been exposed, you’ve just added another layer in their armor against pornography. Especially if you can stay calm and reassuring.

I recently came across an excellent video on the Women for Decency website produced by LifeStar Network, a pornography and sexual addiction recovery organization. Jeffrey Ford, a licensed marriage and family therapist, discusses three steps you can take to help your child after they’ve seen pornography.

worried boy1. Ask: How did your body feel? Ford advises parents to recognize that pornography arouses sexual feelings, which physically feel good. Acknowledging that sexual arousal feels good will avoid shaming your child about having normal sexual feelings.

2. Ask: How did you feel emotionally? Kids often say they feel sick to their stomach or “yukky” after seeing pornography. This is confusing. How can my body feel good but my emotions feel so bad at the same time?

3. Explain that marriage is the right time to experience sexual feelings. Teach them that both their bodies and their emotions can feel good when they grow up and find someone they love to marry. Sexual feelings are good and normal and designed to bring two people together and keep them together in a committed and loving relationship like marriage.

mom talking with 11 year old sonDepending on the type of pornography they’ve seen you may also want to reaffirm that sex is not about hurting another person, but it’s about showing kindness and affection.

Pornography gives very mixed messages to kids, which are extremely confusing. The worst case scenario is to have a child turn to the internet for more information on pornography.  As a parent, you can provide a safe setting for sorting out the confused feelings produced by seeing pornography.

I highly recommend watching this 4 minute video What if my child has been exposed?

Kristen Jenson
Kristen A. Jenson is the founder of Protect Young Minds and author of Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids. Kristen enjoys speaking, writing and anything else that will help empower kids to reject pornography. Kristen earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and a master’s degree in Organizational Communication. Kristen currently lives with her husband in Washington State, where she enjoys growing a vegetable garden, watching Masterpiece Theater, and taking long walks with friends who tolerate her incessant talking about you know what. Above all else, her husband and three children are her greatest treasures.

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