The statistics tell us that 90% of boys and 60% of girls will view pornography in some form before they turn 18 years old.We often have a tendency to think that “our kid is the exception”. Unfortunately, that line of thinking only opens the door of opportunity for our kids to become the rule. The chances are pretty high that your child will at some point watch porn. Here are four things you need to do when that happens.
Take a Minute, Just Breathe
Anger. Sadness. Disappointment. Rage. You experience a number of emotions when you find out that your child is dealing with a porn issue. It’s important that you take a moment, remove yourself from the situation, and just breathe. Pull yourself together before you go talking to your son or daughter. When they find out you know they’ll have a wave of emotions run through their body as well. Two overly emotional people discussing, turns into an argument, and arguments rarely solve problems. Take a moment, breathe, and approach your son/daughter about the problem with a level head.
In this situation it can be tempting to immediately react to the emotions of anger and disappointment that you’re feeling. It’s also tempting to turn your thoughts inward and ask yourself “where did I go wrong?” It is important that you breathe, as stated above, and approach this situation as logically as you can. Should your child be punished for this? Probably, yeah, but if you barge in and angrily take away their computer/phone privileges and forbid them to see any of their friends the next few weeks or so, you may end up doing more harm than good. The punishment needs to fit the crime, but an overreaction may prompt your kid to continue to close him or herself off to you, which is exactly what you don’t want.
Increase Security Measures
“I’m not much of a tech person” is a phrase I hear from a lot of older people. Being a technology native person this phrase doesn’t apply to me at all, but I am aware that many parents reading this can probably relate with the “I’m not a tech person” sentiment.
Parents, we can’t keep using this as an excuse. Your kids are becoming increasingly proficient with the latest technological gadgets, and so is the porn industry. New apps are released on the market every day, many of them with the capability to be used for something bad. Don’t let your technological ignorance leave the door open for your child to get hooked on porn under your nose. Do some research, and get help from some people that are technologically savvy. Don’t ignore the problem; look for ways to prevent its future growth in your child’s life.
Encourage Openness (and Cultivate an Honest Environment)
Earlier I stated that overreacting to the situation could lead to child being closed off and that that’s exactly the opposite of what you want. Pornography is an insidious little thing. Once it gets a hold of you, it never lets go. Maybe the time you caught your child watching porn was only a “one time thing”, but chances are that their brain will urge them to go back again and again. Your child’s temptation is real, and they need someone to help them bear their burden (Gal. 6:1-2).
Parents, be that person your child can lean on and talk to about everything in their life, even the bad. Let them know that they can come to you without you bursting into tears or getting angry at them. Help them through their problem with patience, care and understanding. Don’t get angry, get honest and show them that they can be honest about their struggles with you too.
Pornography isn’t the end of the world. Your child isn’t a pervert or sexual deviant just because they’ve seen it. They are however, someone who is in need of help and someone who is in need of a parent to show them that the road they’re heading down is not one they want to travel on.
Is your child going through the struggles of pornography addiction? Wanting to know what you can do to specifically help your child through their struggle? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to help!