Talking to dcs about porn

(46 Posts)
CeeBeeBee Fri 16-Sep-16 20:42:20

I read this article that my bil forwarded to dh and me and it reminded me that as a parent, I would need to have honest discussion about this area with him now that he is in secondary school. It is frightening but to be honest, I really have no idea how to go about it. We have parent control on what he searches and check his browser history frequently but I know that it's not enough.
He feels comfortable enough to talk to us about puberty and sex but we've not had a talk about porn yet.

I'd like to know how others may have approached this and what you have found effective. It is almost impossible to shield him from it forever and I do t want to be passive about this.

Thanks in advance.

MatildaOfTuscany Fri 16-Sep-16 20:57:16

Watching with interest to see what other people suggest - my son is a couple of years younger, and this is something I worry about.

Bitofacow Fri 16-Sep-16 21:35:45

Ask him what he thinks and take it from there......

"You know I've seen this article and I don't know what to think. What do you think?"

almondpudding Fri 16-Sep-16 22:16:32

All we said was that porn was not allowed in this house because we do not agree with it, and explained why we don't agree with it.

That just fits into a wider framework of how other people should be treated and general ethics that you teach kids from an early age.

CeeBeeBee Fri 16-Sep-16 23:23:40

Thanks for the comments so far. ds is 11 and in year 7, I don't think he has seen any porn so far or have been exposed to it by any of his friends. He spends most of his time doing Pokemon hunting on his tablet or playing football. His tablet and smart phone are taken from him at bed time as well.

I am holding back from mentioning it at the moment because I don't want to "introduce" it if he hasn't seen it yet or heard about it. On the other hand, I don't want to wait until dh or I catch him out either.

lovelilies Fri 16-Sep-16 23:26:03

Following.
I have an 11 year old DD, she knows about sex and other things but not porn. I'd be interested to see how others have broached it especially with their DDs

KickAssAngel Fri 16-Sep-16 23:51:47

This talks about sexual objectification, which is pretty much what porn is. It's aimed at youth and OK for that age group.

It doesn't mention porn specifically, but obviously still applies.

JacquettaWoodville Fri 16-Sep-16 23:52:47

No top tips

But - I think you should introduce it, in the same way that sex Ed is introduced in the time before sex is likely to happen.

PuertoVallarta Sat 17-Sep-16 00:13:12

The comments on that article are so depressing. They just go on and on, 56 pages of comments about how porn is natural and a wonderful thing.

OP, I have no suggestions but I appreciate your bil and dh being clued in to this problem.

squeezed Sat 17-Sep-16 00:27:58

It's good that he talks to you about sex and puberty. Speaking about pornography is just another part of talking about this sex, relationships and keeping themselves safe. The important aspects of talking about pornography are about how it does not reflect real sexual relationships and how much of it depicts the treatment of women negatively. It can also link with discussions about cyber safety and not sharing photos of themselves. In all likelihood, your children know more than you think they do so it is better to be there for them to talk about it in a supportive manner rather than them relying on f iends or Google.

VestalVirgin Sat 17-Sep-16 00:35:32

I have no experience with this, but ... children aren't blind. You can take an objectifying advertisement as starting point. Girls will already have noticed that this shit makes them uncomfortable ... I know I did, when I was about 11.

Bitofacow Sat 17-Sep-16 10:49:03

OK - some of this may seem obvious but I am trying to be thorough. You probably do a lot of it already I don't mean to patronize.

Do you and your partner agree on what the message is? It doesn't matter if you have different views but be clear he knows it is what you think.

It won't be one CONVERSATION.

Equip him with critical skills. Advert in the paper "do you think that picture is real?" "Is that what that women really looks like?" "Do you think she wants to buy a car?" "Why do you think she is sitting on the car in a bikini?"
Ask him questions and nudge him, avoid telling.

When you shop "why do you think I won't buy those eggs/clothes etc?' " do you think I am right to consider the people who make these things?"

When talking about school "what do other boys say about. ####?" "When they say that how do you feel" " would a girl have a different view to you?"

As he grows up his answers will be more aware and you can question him further. Listen and respond to his answers it might get uncomfortable.

Does he know you check his browser? Have you discussed this with him. You and your partner need to have a conversation now about how long you will continue to do this. There comes a point when he is entitled to privacy.

He will see porn. It may not be violent horrid porn (on the surface) avoid telling him he is watching rape because it may well not be (controversial I know - not the point of this thread) or at least that is not what he will think. If you insist you are right he may stop discussing it. Most boys start with lesbian porn ( entirely anecdotal) so may NOT be seeing piv rape.

Respect his views even if you don't agree. He may go through a phase and then return to what you hope he will do.

You may need to do a little research if you are talking about something you know nothing about he will work it out and your opinion will have less credibility.

Push through the embarrassment your and his fathers input are absolutely crucial. It is vital you have this conversation and even if he chooses to use porn later in life it is significantly less likely to have a negative impact if he is aware of the surrounding issues.

Again I am sure you already do lots of this and I don't mean to patronise, the key is listening. It's scary how many parents don't.

almondpudding Sat 17-Sep-16 12:09:41

That seems really forced. Bitofacow.

It sounds like a classroom, not a home, or like the parent is talking to a four year old.

Secondary school age kids have their own ethical opinions and generally don't need to be prompted into sharing them.

It's also worth remembering that if it is not your internet connection, you do not have privacy. I'll be reminding DS of that as he is about to go into halls and will be using the uni's internet connection.

DH's main contribution to the porn conversations has been to discuss the law. laws vary from country to country and what is legal in the US is not always legal here. There are also legal issues around sending images to teens. We are liable if DS inadvertently breaks the law, so don't look at porn or send or receive links from other young people.

The other option is to get your own account on a phone, but then of course the internet provider will block the vast majority of sites as you are not 18.

Bitofacow Sat 17-Sep-16 12:19:32

It's as forced as you make it. Asking questions is the basis of good conversation.

I work with 16 - 19 year olds they absolutely do need to be prompted into sharing their views. They also need to know their opinions are listened to valued and respected.

Of course dcs develop their own opinions that's why you need to ask questions to find out what those opinions are so you can talk about them.

Father's input on an emotional level is vital. As parents we model behaviour. Surely we want to model interested, engaged and able to discuss sex, porn and emotions.

almondpudding Sat 17-Sep-16 12:24:57

Of course you need to prompt kids because you're working with them. It's not the same as being the parent.

I went to the cinema with the kids the other day and got this tirade through the trailers of, this is nationalistic because of xyz, this is heteronormative because of abc. I said, shut up you are ruining the cinema,

Would DD say all that to a counsellor or a teacher? No, she's a teen.

They don't need to be prompted generally by people they already trust.

DoItTooJulia Sat 17-Sep-16 13:52:34

We're in the same position (11 yo ds in year 7)

We have briefly touched on it already with him. We discuss consent quite often. And what's natural (thinking here about masturbation) enjoyable, that sex is supposed to be fun and feel nice. We discuss that there's a spectrum of what people like sexually.

Wrt to porn, we've said that there are movies and pictures of people having sex and that it's a very grown up thing. We have also discussed that some things can't be unseen. (This applies to violence or other things not suitable for an 11yo) which is why we are careful about what he has access to-not because we don't trust him, but because there is time to do/see grown up stuff and that time isn't yet.

We also watch more grown up stuff with him (he LOVES greys anatomy and there is a lot of sex in it, which prompts a lot of these discussions!).

JacquettaWoodville Sat 17-Sep-16 16:04:21

"They don't need to be prompted generally by people they already trust."

Hmm, I think that's a big generalisation about teenagers. I trusted my parents as a teen, but certinaly wouldn't volunteer my thoughts on 'embarrassing' subjects

almondpudding Sat 17-Sep-16 16:44:38

Yes, probably true, Jacquetta.

But a lot of the groundwork on porn is covered by discussions of topics that are not embarrassing.

It is hard to generalise, because discussions happen in different ways in different contexts.

Sometimes as a parent your job is not to respect your child's opinion but to simply put in place a boundary of behaviour that must be adhered to.

Sometimes you don't need to ask questions because your child is directing the course of a conversation and volunteering information, or is teaching you something you didn't know.

Sometimes as a parent you should make moral judgements about what your child does, and to teach them that they should make moral judgements of their own.

Sometimes as a parent your job is to ask questions and to listen to your child, and to not share your own feelings, because the conversation isn't about you.

Sometimes as a parent your job is to teach your children that their perspective is not relevant because the purpose of a conversation is for them to focus on what is being said by someone who isn't them - a sibling for example.

CeeBeeBee Wed 21-Sep-16 23:42:40

Hello, thanks for the replies. I do understand that it will be an ongoing thing to educate the dcs about sex, relationships, porn etc and that dh and I will need to stay on top of what is current in teenage culture.

I bought the book that was recommended in the article, which is about talking to teens about internet porn, sexting etc, and it arrived today. I'll let you know what I think of it once I've finished it.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 22-Sep-16 00:46:56

The quotes in Allison’s book from boys whose parents have talked to them about pornography show that they remember what they have been told. “My dad told me not to ram women like they do in porn … that women don’t like it that hard,” a year 11 boy said; a year 12 boy said: “Dad told me that real men don’t watch porn. They have confidence with women and know how to take care of them.”

Is the author suggesting these are acceptable examples of the sort of conversation one should have with children?

The 12 year old at a pinch, but the 11 year old - really?

All we said was that porn was not allowed in this house because we do not agree with it, and explained why we don't agree with it.

Yes me too , and that was in the days when a computer was still a clunky gadget occupying space in a public room and used by everyone in the house.

JacquettaWoodville Thu 22-Sep-16 07:12:45

Year 11 and year 12, Lass: not 11 and 12 year olds. The boys would be 14/15 and 15/16.

CeeBeeBee Thu 22-Sep-16 07:13:36

Lass, it reads year 11 and year 12 rather than 11 and 12 years old, so I think that means 16 and 17 years old.

CeeBeeBee Thu 22-Sep-16 07:14:21

Xpost jacque!

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 22-Sep-16 09:45:26

I wish posters and writers would stop doing this. "Year 11" is the English school system. How bloody difficult is it to use the actual ages?

Miffer Thu 22-Sep-16 10:30:12

I spoke with my son at 11 after reading an article saying most children will have watched porn at 11.5. He admitted he had (on a friends phone at school, who knows the truth though). I was really shocked but glad he admitted it. I kept it basic with him then but revisited the topic in subsequent years (he's 16 now). At 11 he was embarrassed but receptive.

Points I have hit home
*Women in the videos are often exploited.
*Women do not orgasm like they do in porn.
*Men's bodies are unrealistic as is their "performance".
*Women's bodies are unrealistic. Women are hairy naturally.
*Anal sex is crap.
*Women do enjoy sex but porn isn't an example of this.

I never told him not to watch it as it would be totally pointless. I watched porn as a teen (the joy of your mate finding their parents porn video).

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