Why you should talk about porn and other taboo topics with your kids
Though some topics such as pornography may seem taboo to discuss, it is important to educate children about the dangers of the internet.
With the evolution of the internet and the younger generation gravitating towards technology, children can be exposed to inappropriate and explicit content.
The use of the internet by children and youth increases the risks of cyberbullying, invasion of privacy, identity theft and children seeing offensive images and messages, amongst other things.
However, parents having open communication with their children could help curb the dangers and taking online safety efforts could be more effective for the young generation.
Though some topics such as pornography and suicide ideation may seem taboo to discuss, it is important to educate children about the dangers that come with the internet.
According to FYI play it safe, parents with “not my child’ syndrome” are at risk of being blind to the ubiquity of online pornography and other content depicting overt adult sexuality.
For instance, the latest research shows that while 75% of parents say they believe their child has never been exposed to pornography, 53% of children were comfortable admitting that they have been.
FYI play it safe, is an AI-powered monitoring app used by families across the world to keep kids safer online.
“Parents have different levels of personal comfort with certain sensitive topics that can inhibit them from starting these conversations or responding appropriately if their children initiate them. In these cases, the “not my child” syndrome is commonly used to deflect from the need to have a conversation about a topic that is uncomfortable for the parent,” the CEO of FYI play it safe, Rachelle Best said.
Top tips for having hard conversations with your tweens and teens
- Start by being aware of yourself
Parents are urged to reflect on their own feelings of discomfort and/or shame that might be causing resistance and avoidance when it comes to dealing with important online safety topics.
- Adjust your expectations
According to Counselling Psychologist Lekha Daya, sometimes, you won’t know the answers to their questions. Take the pressure off yourself to have the conversation ‘perfectly’, and forge ahead with it rather than avoid it.
- Appreciate your impact as a positive role model
Engage openly and honestly with your teen around a difficult topic.
“I am currently having all sorts of conversations with teens around these challenging topics related to online safety for the upcoming FYI play it safe podcast, ‘Sip the Tea’. I am finding that all of the children I talk to are very open, and they want to talk about these topics because they are highly relevant in their world today,” Rachel concluded.
*Compiled by Lethabo Malatsi.