Simple Way to Talk to Your Preschooler About Pornography

scared boy with his hands covering the eyes on a white background

In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to talk to our preschooler about pornography or wonder if they’ve ever been exposed to it. Unfortunately, in this day in age where we have access to all sorts of images on the internet, standing in the grocery store line, out on billboards, in commercials…  We’ve been on airplanes, restaurants and bus rides where they’ve shown movies that had some disturbing images.  So as much as we try to protect our kids from pornographic images we can’t always control the environment around them.

Let’s say you know you’re pretty sure your child has never been exposed to porn, in this case, I’d say just read on but if you want to be extra vigilant then read this article where I share how to talk to your kids if they have been exposed to pornography.

I give seminars on this topic about protecting and equipping our children against pornography and one of the questions I always get from parents is this one: “Do I need to talk to my 4 or 5 year old about this? They are so young and innocent. Why fill their minds with this kind of stuff?”

How I usually respond to this is: When they are little you can begin by sharing the basics and give them age appropriate information. When we talk about pornography with our children we are taking this issue out of the darkness and putting it into the light.  When we find the courage to explore this topic with our children we teach them that we are available to discuss these types of things with them.  Believe me they will eventually be exposed to it and you want them to come talking to you about it not their friends.

Simple Way to Talk to Your Preschooler About Porn 

Remember keep it simple. You don’t want to go in to too much detail with them but you do want to cover the basics. Below I cover the basics though they are similar to the points I share with older kids it’s a lot more simple.

1. Define pornography. Here’s a definition you can share with a younger child but tweak it to fit your child’s understanding and age. I share here a longer version for older kids.

Pornography are photos, videos, cartoons of people without clothes.

2. No secrets. Let them know that if they’ve seen pornography they should never keep it a secret. When we experience something traumatic it can be overwhelming with big emotions and bodily sensations all being processed by our right brain (that’s our feeling side of the brain).  So it’s important to help our kids process this by talking about it and normalizing the images. Our left side of our brain also known as the logical side is what makes sense of these feelings and emotions. When our kids talk about these images we help integrate both side of their brain moving the information from one zone to the other.

Dr. Manning assures us that “talking it out can help get the image out of your head and into a different zone, where it can be perceived and challenged differently.”

3. Discuss. Ask them if they’ve seen pornography. Remember to stay calm no matter what they respond with.

4. Label it. Teach them to do the following when they see pornography. Labeling porn for what it is and then practicing the act of looking away is a great way for our kids to start training their brains at a young age.  I believe this would also work with adults. I had a friend tell me that when my boys and her kids were together in the car she heard my son say, “That’s portography, look away.”  I was so proud of them for doing this even if they didn’t have the word right.

Here’s my simple way to get them to remember–Say & Tell

SAY— That’s pornography. I need to look away. or That’s pornography, look away.

TELL— If you see pornography, tell me (the parent or guardian).

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