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I caught my adolescent watching porn. What do I do?

Young people (yes, including teenagers and adolescents) have access to the internet daily through the drastic and unparalleled technological advancement experienced within the last two decades. It should come as no surprise that internet pornography use is on the rise.

 

According to recent research, 77.9% of teens admitted to the consumption of pornographic material. 8% of them disclosed that they access these pornographic sites daily! 59% of teenage boys believe that pornography is stimulating to watch, and a little over 9% of them admit to a kind of addiction to pornography.

 

When it comes to pornography use, the query is not whether or not a child will view it, but when they would. Research shows that porn watching is inevitable and increases with age. So the first thing to consider would be prevention strategies which will push off their pornography use as much as possible.

STEP ONE: BE NURTURING

First thing’s first, you should handle the situation with caution. Because no amount of yelling will help you unsee what you have just witnessed. It is crucial that you be gentle as they most likely lack self-assurance.

 

Research shows that pornography consumption in adolescence is associated with low self-esteem while other affecting factors are level of religiousness, gender and age.


If the problem is self-esteem, then discuss that. Yelling would only make it worse. Studies
show that pornography consumption is only going to increase with age. So Make your peace with it.

STEP TWO: TALK ABOUT IT

Try to give it at least a few hours after the event before talking about it but don’t avoid the subject. Start easy. Break the ice with a joke or two before heading to the main discussion.

 

For instance “how did you come across the sites?” “I thought you I heard you clapping, do you know what you were doing?” “do you know why?” etc.

 

This would be an opportunity to find out how much they know and Dispel any negative ideas your child may already have.

STEP THREE: EXPLAIN THE DANGERS OF PORNOGRAPHY USE

Emphasise the dangers of porn such as; not being able to develop a healthy relationship, or not being able to get aroused in the future when they are with a real person. Etc. Make it as simple as possible but remain honest.

 

STEP FOUR: EXPLAIN THE NEED TO INCREASE BOUNDARIES

Be gentle in educating them, not angry or blaming. Fear instilling techniques will be of no use as it can instead, make your child sneakier or rebellious. Don’t just go about clouting commandments; lead by example. Children learn what you do and not what you say.

 

As a family, practice reduced internet use. By agreeing to what devices they can use, when (e.g. after homework, during the daylight hours etc.) and for how long. You may decide that phones, iPads and computers can only be used in the living room or kitchen. And you should stick to that schedule as well!

a boy riding his bmx
Here are some helpful rules. Remember mom, these would only work if they are done in solidarity.

  1. Let bedtime be bedtime. No phones allowed in bedrooms late at night.
  2. The Family can only use devices in the kitchen or living room after homework and for no more than 2 hours at a time.
  3. Do not visit any site or play any online game with very graphic content.

It is necessary to educate young web users to the safe and responsible use of the internet and its contents. Sex education about the dangers of porn should increase in number and frequency to help improve knowledge of web related sexual issues both by adolescents and parents.

 

This is something you can suggest to your child’s school to help other parents and children.

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