Believe it or not, most adults care about young people and are up for an honest convo, so it might be easier than you think – it just comes down to some planning 😉. Here’s some info that might help out… And big respect for giving it a go 👍🏽
TIPS & TOOLS
Here’s our top tips for starting the convo…
Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi (As the old net withers another is remade)
You might be the first in your whānau to be brave enough to talk about porn. Don’t let this put you off – make sure you have some support if you need it (sister, cousin, friend, aunty) and remember this is an important korereo for New Zealand rangatahi.
Starting the convo can help you and your whānau keep safer and more supported online.
Choose your person
First up, decide who you feel safest to talk to. It can feel super weird talking about this stuff with a parent or wider whānau – but they often care about what’s going on and are up for a convo.
It’s important to start with a safe person though – so if this isn’t your parents, try a wider whānau member like a cousin, aunty or older sibling.
If this doesn’t feel safe for you, try someone more removed like a school counsellor, coach or teacher that you 100% trust.
Culture or faith
If you’re from a faith or culture where porn is a big no-no, talking about it with your folks can be tricky.
Try talking with someone you trust in your wider whānau or faith community first like a cousin or youth group leader. They can support you and together you can decide whether talking to your parents is a good idea.
Give them a heads up
Don’t just drop the convo on them like a bomb. Some pre-warning before deep diving into a ‘porn’ convo will really help.
Try preparing them in advance (face to face or in a text)… “Hey, this is awkward, but I want to talk with you about porn and some other stuff. It’s real hard to talk about, and I need you to listen and not judge…?”
Ask them to school-up
Heaps of adults aren’t schooled up on 2020 porn – and to be honest, they’re less likely to flip out if they know what it’s like for young people online. So, the more prepared they are, the better the convo will go.
Ask them to do their homework in advance…. “Hey – I’d love it if you could check out some NZ resources for parents before we talk as I think it will really help..……”
Click HERE for the resources.
Choose your place
Choose somewhere you feel safe or isn’t awkward – if that’s possible 😊. For example, in the car when you’re not looking at each other, walking the dog, or over dinner at your Grandma’s (jokes).
Don’t rush and allow a good 15 mins.
Korero kanohi ki te kanohi (Have the korero face to face)
Be straight up. Sugar coating what’s going on can make it worse if you end up not telling the full truth.
It can also help to say it all at once, e.g. “Someone asked me to send them a naked photo, I felt pressured, but I wanted to fit in. They’ve shared it around the school and I don’t know what to do.” Phew.
Newsflash, adults aren’t perfect…they might freak out at first (hopefully not!), especially if it’s the first time they’ve talked about porn. That’s okay. So, be chill about their first response – go easy on them.
If emotions are high, reschedule for another time.
If you’re worried your parents will be angry or upset, talk about ‘a friend’: “One of my friends is struggling with porn, do you think they should tell their parents?”
Or if they do have a bit of a meltdown, let them know you wanted to be honest. “I’m sorry you’re angry. I didn’t have to tell you – but I thought you would want me to be honest.”
Sometimes when you are working out your sexual or gender identity talking to your parents might feel unsafe.
If you’re not ready for this yet, try talking with a trusted adult or the pros HERE
Safety comes first
The biggest priority is you. If you think this convo may lead to anger or even violence, talk with another adult first.
If you do think it’s safe, ask someone to be there with you if you talk to your parents.
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Schooling up the oldies
Here’s a couple of great links for you to send to your parents/whānau to watch so they can get informed before any convo.
- This Light Project Whānau resource gives some great info on how to prepare for a porn conversation, what to talk about and how to keep the convo open.
- This great 2-minute animated clip by the Classification Office shows what NZ youth want their parents to know about porn.
- These parent resources by the Classification Office give some helpful tips for parents
“The majority, specifically boys, stumble upon porn at an early age. We’re talking primary school… or early high school. At that age, there’s really no one to talk to – and that’s the struggle.”
male, 17 yrs, OFLC survey
Porn in the dark age (pre-Internet)
Want to know what porn was like in your parent’s day and how it’s different to what’s online today 🤔?
There were three main differences:
Playboy and Penthouse were the two biggest mags. Playboy had its most subscribers in 1972 … a whooping 7.6 million per year. Pornhub alone gets 115 million a day. There wasn’t much video either – in 1984 there were 400 porn videos made in the US, last year there were 6.8 million uploads, just to Pornhub.
To read or watch porn you used to rock up to a video store or dairy, show them your ID card (18+), and then spend a week’s pocket money buying a porn mag or hiring a porn video. Most families only had one device to watch it on… a big TV in the lounge, so yeah, privacy was a problem! Now it’s on your phone 24/7 – and free.
A lot of porn was pretty low key before the internet, there were actual storylines, romance and bodies were more normal (different sizes) – like they actually had pubic hair 😵. In general, it was more like ‘real-life’ sex compared to porn today.
“It’s hard to admit you have a porn problem or to even say that it’s involved in your life. People want out of it so bad but it’s hard to find a normal way to say it to parents or anyone. It’s embarrassing and you feel like you have betrayed yourself and everything your mum and dad have brought you up to be.”
Anon youth, TLP Survey 2020
Want to talk with an adult
or your whanau about porn?
Want to talk with an adult or your whanau about porn?
What Young People Want From Whānau
This is a great clip with young New Zealanders thoughts on online porn, and what they wish adults knew. Send this to the adults you know.
Why We Need To Talk About Porn
Keep it Real Online
NZ campaign on keeping it real.
What’s The Biggest Lie You Ever told Your Mum?
Funny clip where kids tell their mums the biggest lie they’ve ever said – and it’s not so bad.
What’s The Biggest Lie You Ever told Your Dad?
Funny clip where kids tell dads the worst thing they’ve ever done – and it’s not so bad.
Awesome wellbeing tool that helps you work through any type of problem by guiding you through a series of questions that help you come up with ideas, solutions and connections to the right support.