When kids see pornography, become regular viewers, or engage in self-production of child exploitation material (CEM / child pornography), it is completely normal that parents will experience a huge range of emotions. If the first reaction is anger, it should towards the pornographers – not our kids.

 

The best reaction is to COMPOSE Yourself! Culture Reframed understands how daunting it can be to raise children in an environment that normalizes hypersexualized pop culture and violent mainstream pornography. Because of this, in my role as Director of Health Education at Culture Reframed, I have developed a model to help parents respond well when they discover their young person has viewed pornography. The COMPOSE Yourself! model is adaptable for all ages.

The extended version of the COMPOSE Yourself! model, as well as your very own dashboard version, is available for free download at Culture Reframed.

Be sure to check out the other fantastic resources and links available on the Culture Reframed website, and sign up to learn about the launch of our Parents Program, releasing soon – a complete best practice toolkit to build knowledge and tools in parents so they can raise porn-resilient kids.

is for CALM. Stay calm and don’t panic! Collect your thoughts before engaging in conversation with your child. Slow your breathing, take some time out for yourself, and don’t react.

is for OWNERSHIP. Ask your child curious questions. Stay engaged and clarify details. Find out if there was anyone else involved and assess any risks there may be for other children.

is for MOOD. Explore how this has emotionally impacted your child. Let them know that their feelings are a normal reaction, rather than anything to be ashamed about.

is for PARENT. Be the type of parent your child can come to and safely ask questions, and teach your child critical thinking skills. Being a parent is not just something you are – it’s something you do.

is for OVERRIDE. The porn industry has created this situation, and together, you can now ‘override’ its power with positive actions and behaviours.

is for STRATEGY. Work on a “where to from here?” approach rather than being reactive, and seek out professional help if needed.

is for EVALUATE. Check in with your child regularly. Help them develop skills so they can make healthy decisions, and be clear that you will parent and partner with them.

Liz Walker is an accredited sexuality educator, speaker, author, and Director of Health Education at Culture Reframed: the global lead in solving the public health crisis of the digital age. Liz is an exceptional communicator and passionate advocate for children and young people. Liz also Chairs the Australian organisation Porn Harms Kids, addressing the harms of children and young people accessing online pornography; and has a proven track record in developing and delivering schools and parent education in her role as Managing Director of Youth Wellbeing Project. Well connected internationally, Liz regularly provides consultancy to government, non-profit and professional organisations.