Parenting about sensitive issues such as pornography can feel very challenging for many parents. But with some good information and support, you can grow in your comfort and confidence to address porn’s influence with your child.
Remember, the basic underlying issues are the same as in many other parenting issues – supporting and encouraging your child to respect and care for themselves and others, in order that they might live happy, safe and fulfilling lives.
Here are some support options:
Parent Tip Sheets
Our parent tip sheets provide a range of information to support you to parent about pornography and sexting. The ‘Online parenting resources’ and ‘Online resources to use with your child’ tip sheets provide links to other helpful resources, if you would like more information, see parent tip sheets.
Talk with friends and family
You can be certain you’re not the only one dealing with these issues. Sometimes the best support for tricky parenting issues like these can come from friends or family.
Talking with friends and family doesn’t have to mean sharing things you’re not comfortable to talk about. You could talk quite generally about the issues, for example:
‘I read the other day that 30% of all internet use is porn-related. That makes parenting kids’ technology use pretty challenging! How do you manage it?’
‘I’m trying to think through how to talk about sexual imagery with my kids. It’s almost impossible for them to avoid these days. Even if they don’t watch music videos they’re still seeing billboards and other ads, and apparently lots of kids see porn – even if they don’t go looking for it. But a lot of it is not very respectful. Have you talked with your kids about that stuff?’
Contact support services
Sometimes it is good to get the support of someone who has relevant expertise. You can contact a local community based organisation that specialises in youth services, sexual health or parenting support, your GP or a community health clinic. Or you can contact a telephone support service such as Parentline 1300 30 1300.
If you believe someone is at serious risk or has committed an offence or experienced sexual assault, you could contact the appropriate service such as police or your local sexual assault service.
Support to talk to your child’s school
If you would like to encourage your child’s school to address pornography’s influence, but feel a bit unsure about how to start, see our ‘Become an advocate’ information here.