When To Talk To Your Kid About Porn

One of the most common questions I get is, “At what age should I talk to my son about porn?”

The fact that you’re even willing to talk about it at all is itself a step in the right direction.  This is an essential conversation that must take place.  The question is WHEN?

I believe the most important time to talk to your kids about porn is BEFORE they’ve been exposed to it.  You need to instill your values and explain to them the dangers of porn before it gets it’s evil hooks in them.  

To do this, we need to know at what age most men are first exposed to pornography.

I ran a poll on twitter asking at what age people were first exposed to porn.  

The results are scary.  

This means that 2/3 of people first viewed porn PRIOR to becoming a teenager.   And 90% were exposed before turning 17.  

This is sad.  

But it’s not surprising.  Many of the men I have coached told me they were exposed at a very young age; some as young as 8!  

Children are given access to, or worse, someone is showing them porn before they even know what sex is!   They don’t have the physical or emotional maturity to understand.  

You cannot hesitate to talk to our kids about porn.  

Because if you don’t, someone else will.  Do you want your child’s first exposure to sexuality be from their phone?  Or from a friend? Or in worst cases, a predator?   

Hell no!  Your children must learn about sex from YOU.  It is your duty as a parent to talk to them about sex. 

I know it seems too early.  I know you don’t think they’re old enough.  But the world is a much different place than it was when you were their age.  You may not have had to worry about sexual stuff until you were a teenager.  Those days are long gone.  This poll proves it.  

So at what age should I talk to my kid about sex and porn?  

I always say that whatever age you think is too soon to talk to your kid about porn, talk to them two years before that.  

In all honesty, the proper age is going to depend on your own kid and your relationship with them.  You can’t just drop this sort of thing on them out of nowhere without already having an open and honest relationship. Your first heart to heart with your children should not be the “birds and the bees” talk.  

Pastor Michael Foster, author of It’s Good To Be A Man, writes:

“The battle against pornography begins long before high school.  It begins with not giving in to demands of pre-dinner popsicles, bedtime protests, and ignored curfews. It starts with the loving discipline of your child while he’s still in diapers. There’s a reason Proverbs 13:24 says, “He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Discipline will help spare your son from being enslaved to all sorts of evil—including gluttony, fornication, and mountains of credit card debt. The permissive parent does not love his children. He allows his progeny to drink the slow poison of immediate gratification simply because he’s too busy, or just wants to be a cool parent. Do not be this parent. Spare your children.”

Porn addiction is not a sexual issue.  It’s an emotional issue, a spiritual issue, and a mental issue.   Overcoming it depends on healing those issues at the root, instead of using porn to “escape” from them.    Preventing porn addiction depends on teaching your children healthy ways of handling their emotions, dealing with their desires, and coping with life before they learn to sexualize those problems through porn.  

Ending the Porn epidemic is not going to come from banning PornHub or canceling people.  It’s not going to come from making access to it more difficult.  

The Porn industry will die when fathers rise up, defeat porn themselves, then teach their sons how to avoid it’s dangers.


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Published by Timothy Reigle

I’m Timothy Reigle, the founder of Into The Wilderness Ministries. After overcoming a fifteen year addiction to porn and sex, I have made it my life’s mission to help other men break free from the bonds of addiction. As an author, coach, and chaplain, I work with men to transform their lives by renewing their faith, re-energizing their families, and restoring their masculinity.

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