Hamish and the Shadow Secret is written to help parents, carers and teachers prepare and assist children to know what to do and how to recover from viewing explicit, harmful and inappropriate content.
Developmentally, children have limited experiential and cognitive capacity to understand and interpret what they see. The way that children process pornography varies from child to child; however, reported feelings can range from curiosity, disgust, confusion, guilt and arousal. “I hated this, but I liked it”. “I don’t want to look at more, but I really want to look at more”. “I think it’s bad for me, but I don’t really know why”. Internal conflict without the knowledge of why pornography is unhealthy, can quickly lead to children believing unhelpful sexual stories (scripts) about themselves and others, which are embedded in violence and inequality, shame and secrecy – unhealthy foundations for brain development and building positive relationships.
Hamish and the Shadow Secret is an educational resource for engaging children in a safe and robust conversation about the harms of pornography.
Age: 8-12 years
Author: Liz Walker & Don Truss