How to cope with your teen’s addiction to pornography

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Viewing porn as a teen is definitely a rite of passage and not something that should necessarily be feared or discouraged. All teens, be them boy or girl, are going to start viewing some form of pornographic images, out of a natural curiousity for their own burgeoning, developing sexuality, their own bodies-and a strong natural, innate curiousity of sex. Additionally, there’s enough sexually explicit photos and semi nude that are not considered porn…We all know what may come next, masturbation and possible intercourse. After all, your teens are on the verge of adulthood and sexuality. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will masturbate and/or have sex during those very early formative, teen years. But they will still start to feel the vestiges of adulthood course through their veins, in the form of hormones, which entail sexual discovery and awakening

As a parent, try and understand the changes your little Jennifer or Thomas is going through. Don’t necessarily be discouraged if they start getting into porn. Many teens will. But even saying that, by that time, they are already being subjected to a series of neverending images of scantily-clad young men and women in suggestive poses, via the young adult culture. But as a parent, you have to make sure that they are not directly becoming part of the porn industry, underground or mainstream, either directly or indirectly. As a parent, always maintain a strong line of communications with your kids; be careful that nobody is exploiting them for sexually nefarious purposes. Sexual exploitation of children is far worse than just viewing a few erotic images and maybe masturbating.

Not throwing a fit as a parent and looking for all of their hidden stashes of pornographic material is the way to go. The odds are good that many teens will simply outgrow pornographic materials, with healthy relationships and not just images. Take a deep breath, mom and dad, don’t get terribly upset. As parents, you can talk to them about the differences in the porn images and real people and relationships. This doesn’t mean that you are condoning adult materials for your young, impressionable teen and any possible masturbatory/other sexual practices. You are just teaching them the difference between the fantasy and the real world, so they have a healthy understanding of both. With a healthy attitude towards sexuality, means strong and well-adjusted young adults, lacking in emotional/psychological problems towards sexuality…life and living.

But even saying that, unhealthy addictions to porn can easily and often do develop, with children and parents alike.  As a parent, how do you cope with that?  Does their addiction to porn lead to maladjusted sexual adults, with predatory traits?  A thousand and one disturbing images of your child doing something really sexually unhealthy swirls through your mind-with the police and lengthy jail time being part of these disturbing nightmariosh images.  You may not be so easily able to separate them from the fantasy and real world.  Do you get them into therapy?  Give them a stern lecture?  Both?

Before you fly off the handle, don’t necessarily assume that an addiction to pornography is going to make them follow a self-destructive line to jail and/or the mental health system.  If the images are mostly nudity and healthy sex-not beastiality, violent sex-the odds are that they will probably be okay.  But things that are unhealthy, such as incest, rape and beastiality should set off huge warning sirens in your mind.  Talking to your child and finding out what is going on deep inside will give you an idea of where this may be going to.  But as a parent, sadly and unfortunately you cant pre-empt or mitigate everything negative with your child.  But a little tact, insight and diplomacy can keep your child on the right path towards healthy sexuality.

Don’t be embarassed-there are ways of approaching and talking about it.  A healthy view of sex by your children may mean a lot of curiousity about nudity and sex.  Be able to discern from a healthy interest of it and a negative, self-destructive pathway for them.  A lot of good and frank conversation with them is going to easily help separate between the two.  Do your best to deal with both and try to be aware of what’s going on with them.  At the end of the day, most children grow up to be remarkably well-adjusted sexual adults-always remember that.  The odds are very good that your teen will grow up okay, even if they watch porn.  Talking and listening to them helps with that.

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