Want help talking to your kids about porn?  Get our free Quick Start Guide: How to Talk to Kids about Pornography.

Teach Healthy Sexuality

Swipe Left on Chatbots: 5 Heartfelt Lessons on Genuine Love

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love in all its forms! From sweet notes in class to hugs with family, it’s a day to spread love. Unfortunately, there’s a sinister counterfeit — online chatbots that disturbingly encourage erotic conversations with kids!  

Chatbots have become increasingly popular with kids, offering interactions with their favorite characters. While these may seem fun and innocent at first glance, there is a dark side. Many parents have reported finding erotic chats between their kids and AI characters on a platform called Character.AI. In addition to Character AI, there are several other AI sites dedicated to erotic chats, aka sex bots.

In these instances, kids are engaging in explicit fanfiction with a bot. That sounds like counterfeit love to us! It’s essential for kids to understand that these chatbots are not real and do not represent genuine relationships—even if they are being used innocently, as designed. 

One parent shared with CNN:

“I don’t think I’m prepared to know how to teach my kid how to emotionally separate humans and machines when they essentially look the same from her point of view.”

We couldn’t agree more! To help kids make sense of these differences, it’s crucial to teach kids about the differing emotions of loving and lusting.

The difference between loving and lusting

Real love involves mutual respect, trust, and genuine connection. It's about caring for someone deeply and being there for them through thick and thin. Lusting, on the other hand, is driven solely by physical desire and lacks emotion. Kids need to learn that true love is about more than just physical attraction.

Teaching love lessons

It’s important for parents to proactively teach their children about real love and that chatbots are not substitutes for humans. Here are 5 key lessons:

  1. Love is respectful. Real love respects boundaries and values the feelings of others. It embodies kindness and empathy. These are qualities that a chatbot does not possess. How can you have a romantic relationship with a computer?! It’s as far away as you can get from the real thing.
  1. Love is authentic. Genuine love involves open and honest communication. Chatbots are language models based on predictive text, placing the user in control of the outcome of the conversation. Unlike chatbots, real conversations may not always go as planned, but they are based on sincerity and authenticity.


  1. Love does not engage in erotic objectification. Children need to know that love is not about engaging in sexual conversations. Erotic interactions with chatbots are harmful in the same ways that pornography is harmful because the sole purpose is objectification for one’s own sexual pleasure.

Related: 5 Proven Ways Porn Harms Kids that No One Talks About

  1. Love takes time. True love develops over time and with face to face experiences. It requires patience and understanding. Meaningful relationships can’t be rushed or simulated through technology. Time spent in simulated relationships robs kids of valuable time that could be invested in making real connections with real people in the physical world. This doesn’t have to be romantic connections, there are many types of love!
  1. Love is mutual. In real love, both parties give and receive affection and time. Chatbots are incapable of giving genuine affection. In addition, the person prompting the chatbot is turning inward rather than to a real person.

*Fun tip: Teach these 5 lessons on love to your kids by creating a fun Jeopardy for a family Valentine's Day activity! You can use a dedicated Jeopardy site like Jeopardy labs, or use this template on Google slides. Customize your game to include your values for love.

Related: 7 Things Your Seven-Year-Old Should Know about Love and Sex


Each new technological advance seems to threaten kids' safety. The good news is, the same preventative conversations for refusing pornography and exercising digital safety can also be applied to AI. The following resources will empower kids to reject objectification and be good digital citizens.

The price of anything

We love Henry David Thoreau’s wisdom in his famous quote: 

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” 

As we celebrate Valentine's Day, let's take the opportunity to teach our kids about real love and the pitfalls of artificial interactions with chatbots. By showing kids how to have healthy relationships, they are empowered to spend their time building real connections in their childhood right now, which sets them up for healthier romantic relationships later on.

Brain Defense: Digital Safety Curriculum - Family Edition

"Parents are desperate for concepts and language like this to help their children. They would benefit so much from this program - and I think it would spur much needed conversations between parents and children.” --Jenet Erikson, parent

Learn more or buy