Addressing Online Pornography

Supporting 11-13s:  Do’s and Don’ts

Learn how to address the issues of online pornography at a critical time when pre-teens are most likely to see it.

Watch and see a list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ from our ambassador Dr Linda Papadopoulos to be prepared to support children aged 11-13 on this issue.


Do’s to consider

Do make it an integral part of the sex and relationships talk

With first exposure to pornography being 11 you don’t want pornographers chatting to your children before you do so make sure you acknowledge the fact that it exists but more importantly why learning from it is a bad idea

Do make it part of the online safety talk

This will help things feel less awkward and will also contextualise the talk as a safety issue which is something that they will be more used to

Do be prescriptive about what they should do if they come across it

  • Be clear about what they should do in terms of closing the window, letting you
    know and talking about it
  • Assure them that you won’t be angry and that letting you know is a positive step to help them deal with it and understand the world around them

Do let them know they can come to you with questions anytime and that you are on the same side

Be open and create an environment where they feel able to ask tricky questions without feeling like it’s a taboo subject to talk about.

Don’ts to consider

Don’t regard curiosity as abnormal – it’s normal

Don’t make them feel bad about wondering what’s out there, instead, explain why you think it’s a bad idea they see it and arm them with age-appropriate information to help them make safer choices online

Don’t ignore their questions

Even if they are awkward, you need to be able to help your kids navigate through so, inform yourself and talk often and with confidence

Don’t ignore the reality of them coming across these images

Statistically speaking most will by the time they are 11

Don’t see your child differently if you find out that they have actively searched for it

Being curious is a normal part of growing up and the way you react to kids will impact how they see themselves

Resources document

We’ve created an advice hub to offer parents more tips and advice to help protect from online pornography.

Visit advice hub