effective parenting

Let’s Hear It For The Reddit Dad Who Gave His Son Porn Pointers

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My son is looking at porn on his computer. Your son is looking at porn on his computer. This Reddit dad’s thirteen-year-old son was looking at porn on his computer and he did what any normal dad would do, he left his son a letter on his computer and then he posted the letter to Reddit and asked Redditors if he did the right thing. And 23,000 Reddit users replied with a big up vote “hell yes.”

From the letter posted on Reddit:

Listen, I won’t tell your mom and I’m not gonna make a big deal out of this. In fact I’m not gonna make any size deal out of it. If you don’t wanna talk about it that’s fine and I completely understand. I’ve been on this earth three times as long as you and there’s nothing you have done or will do that I haven’t done before. If you want to completely ignore this ever happened then I can and will do that too. Please don’t act awkward around me because of this. You have nothing to be embarrassed about.

Well, the kid may have something to be embarrassed about if he finds out he has been outed by his dad for being a porn monger on the front page of Reddit, but what an awesome note to leave for his son. Statistics claim that kids see internet pornography as early as age eleven.  Most parents are aware of this fact and have set up parental controls and Open DNS  to protect their kids from seeing things they don’t approve of, but even with precautions kids still may be exposed to pornography online, or even while viewing television.

I’ve had the big bad porn talk with my kid. I know my teenager will be exposed to porn either by accident or on purpose. We’ve explained to him that it’s normal to be curious about sex and naked people. We’ve told him that sex is one of the best things on earth, and that one day we hope he has sex with someone he loves and is safe and healthy while doing so. We’ve also explained that a lot of what he will see in regard to porn isn’t exactly what we approve of. The misogynistic and often violent depictions of women. The typical surgical breast enhancement, the post-production editing to make the actors appear flawless, the photoshop magic used to make women (and men) look beyond anything most people encounter in real life. The unrealistic depictions of sex where relationships are hardly portrayed and intercourse is shown as something with no emotional aspects. We’ve told him that most of the sex he will see is usually artificial and unrealistic. And at the worst, degrading and hurtful.

I’m not crazy about my teen viewing porn, but as a realist, I know it has, and will, happen. At the very least, I want my son to understand that what he does see is usually something as realistic as a Godzilla movie. I’m fine with him being curious about sex, as long as he understands that the actors in porn are just that, actors. I would love if all of the porn he encountered only showed people in love, real people having real sex who then go on and watch TV or make dinner together. But I’m pretty sure that’s not always the case.

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