talking to kids about pornography.

Look at her. Isn't she one of the most beautiful little people you have ever seen? Even with the permanent teeth taking over her mouth, she still takes my breath away, especially when she wears a hint of mascara and light lipstick (emphasis on the light).

Today she and I had a discussion I was not prepared to have. We talked about pornography. Tim and I found a few links on the iPad recently that concerned us so we felt it was necessary to approach the subject quickly, but we knew we needed to be gentle and understanding. The links on the iPad were probably links she got to by watching makeup tutorials; regardless, the discussion was necessary.

As a quick back story, you should know that I never had a talk like this with my mom; she attempted to teach me about the birds and the bees several times, but I was so awkward about the subject that I just declined each time she wanted to talk. I even had her sign me out of those terrible middle school health classes where they go over the subject because I was that girl--that oddly quiet, nervous one that cried when anyone talked about sex. Even now as an adult, I find myself out of the loop on so many things related to sex that I often have to ask Tim or some other trusted adult because heaven knows, I wouldn't want to do any type of internet search to find the answer.

Anyway, back to today, after lunch I asked Mya if we could talk for a few minutes in my room. We cozied up on the bed with Mr. Bear between us, and we started talking about nothing really until finally I felt like she wouldn't completely shut down if I asked her a few questions:

  • Was she curious about her body? 
  • Was she curious about my body?
  • Was she curious about dad's body? 
To each of these questions, she gave a resounding NO. Hmm. I probed a little further. 
  • When you're not watching Star Wars on the iPad, what do you like to watch/play? 
  • Do you ever search the internet? (I had to explain what the internet was...haha)
  • How do you find YouTube without the app?
She started getting a little nervous at this point because I think she knew I was up to something. I noticed immediately the "shut down" signs because I'm a master at shutting down, and I grabbed her hand and held it softly. I reminded her she wasn't in trouble, but that I needed to make sure she was safe. We talked about choices, and how some people make good choices and others make bad ones. And then I introduced pornography as a bad choice. I told her that lots of people show off their bodies inappropriately for the benefit of other people. I asked her how she feels when someone sees her naked (she hates being naked and hates it even more if anyone ever sees her). I asked her what she thought the girls/boys used in pornography felt like being photographed or taped (she said she thought they'd feel embarrassed and sad), and then I told her that we need to be careful of the words we use to search for things on the internet because we can't ever be sure what the internet will spit back at us. 

We discussed the topic a little more before I felt she understood, and then I just sat there with her looking at me and me looking at her, and I reminded her how much I loved her and how much I loved being able to talk to her about things that she's curious about. I told her how funny I felt as a little girl when my mom attempted to talk to me about such things so I told her I understood, but then I promised her that I would always listen to her and respond as necessary. 

Before she left the room, she gave me a big hug. She told me she was embarrassed still and needed some time, and I told her I'd give her the time she needed to digest it but that I would talk to her more throughout the week. I feel the first discussion on the subject was a success. 

This whole thing caught Tim and I off guard because we have always been extra careful with the shows the girls watch, but we realized that we became a little more liberal this summer with the iPads so we told the girls the iPads need new batteries, and we implemented new rules for watching TV. I believe there is strength in numbers so allowing kids to have their own iPads in their own rooms is not very safe, even if you think they are only playing games or watching kid shows. 

We're new at all this, but man, I'm almost thinking it was easier to have Mya be little than it is to have her grow up and encounter all these new challenges. 

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