How To Talk To & Support Your Teenager Around Pornography

How To Talk To & Support Your Teenager Around Pornography

The online world is changing rapidly, and chances are most teenagers will see, or have seen, pornography (porn). Talking about porn can feel awkward at first, but young people tell us that they want, and need, better porn conversations and support from adults. 


Collage of screenshots of various organisations supporting parents and whānau with starting conversations around porn


Tips for talking with your teenager around porn 

Be prepared

Preparing for the conversation will help you stay relevant, calm, and unshockable.

Tailor the talk

Be guided by your teenager’s age, knowledge and experience. 

Team up

Talk to other whānau members about who’s best to start the conversation.    

Be curious and open

Take a curious, kind and non-judgmental approach, listen with empathy, and avoid words like ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ that can create shame and shut down conversations.  

Choose a good time and place

Try somewhere your teen is comfortable with, like driving or walking the dog.

Help build porn resiliency

Discuss the messages in porn around things like gender, violence and sexism. Reflect on how these align with your teenager's own personal, cultural or faith views to help build critical thinking. 

Offer support

Some teenagers struggle with porn-related issues, so let your teen know you’re here to help if they, or any of their friends, are struggling.

See the KidsHealth page on talking to and supporting your child or pre-teen around porn

See the KidsHealth page with advice on how to talk to your child about sex

Resources to support your teenager around porn

Here are some resources to help parents and whānau with starting conversations, building critical thinking and supporting teenagers around porn.

The Light Project

Screenshot of Light Project website

The Light Project aims to help youth, their whānau, schools and wider communities to positively navigate porn and online sexual content and has a range of information, resources, tools and support pathways for parents.

Keep It Real Online

Screenshot of the Keep it real online website

Keep It Real Online is a New Zealand Government campaign to support parents and caregivers to keep their children safe online. 

Te Mana Whakaatu | Classification Office

Screenshot of Classification Office website

The Classification Office Te Mana Whakaatu is responsible for the classification of all films, videos, publications, and some video games in New Zealand. Their site has some useful research and information for parents about controlling content and pornography.

In the Know 

Screenshot of the In the know website

In the Know is a NZ site for young people wanting information or help with porn related concerns. It includes tools, tips, videos, information and referral services offering support with key porn-related issues. It covers a range of issues, including nudes, feeling uncomfortable with porn, pressure to watch porn, wanting to cut down on porn and creating online sexual content. 


NetSafe is an independent non-profit organisation that provides cybersafety and online security education for all New Zealanders. NetSafe's website has a variety of information on online safety and security issues. The website has information for children, parents, community groups, schools and counsellors.

Just the Facts

Screenshot of the Just the faces website

JUST THE FACTS is a website run by the Sexually Transmitted Infections Education Foundation (STIEF). It is a project funded by the Ministry of Health through district health boards to educate New Zealanders about sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

See more KidsHealth content on internet and media

See the KidsHealth's section on internet and media

Screenshot of KidsHealth website emotional and mental wellbeing section


The content on this page has been developed and approved by the Clinical Network for Child Protection, Paediatric Society New Zealand with input and guidance from Nikki Denholm, Director, The Light Project.

This page last reviewed 27 May 2023.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it