THINGS YOU CAN DO IF YOU CATCH YOUR TEENAGER LOOKING AT PORN

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I am writing this as a parent who has experienced this lately.  Despite my best efforts, my teenager gained access to pictures.  To say I was shocked was an under-statement.  I was alarmed that with all the safeguards I had put in place, in this internet age it’s getting increasingly difficult to protect my teenager all of the time.

 

Of course, my first reaction was panic, anger, annoyance, shock, and a sudden urge to rant and rave at my teenager.  Being a mummy to a teenager I had to harness all my strength to sit calmly and decide how to deal with the situation.

 

First port of call was my husband to chat about the situation.  Together we came up with a solution we were both happy with and which I wanted to share with you now.

 

Normalising the situation

Before approaching our son, we talked about how we both wanted to normalise the situation.  Sex and curiosity about sex is a normal part of growing up and an important part of relationships.  While we didn’t want to endorse the behaviour, we didn’t want our teenager to feel there was any shame or anything dirty about being curious about sex.  So rather than making him feel shame, we talked about his curiosity being expressed in another way.

 

Getting our emotions under control

This was the most difficult part for me.  Of course, having distance from the problem was great, in that it allowed me to calm down.  Having strong feelings about what our teenager had been looking at brought in to question my skills of being a parent.  I realised that being angry was not going to get my son to listen, having the time to calm down certainly helped me to formulate what I had to say.

 

Explaining porn

We felt it was important to talk about our reasons for not wanting our teenager to view porn.  Let’s face it porn sites are not about sex between a loving couple, they contain content that no-one would want a teenager to learn from.  We talked about the exploitive nature of porn and how it isn’t a portrayal of real life.  We also talked about loving relationships.

 

What next?

After the process of normalising the situation, getting our emotions under control and explaining our reasons why we didn’t want our teenager looking at it, we emphasied again what the boundaries were in terms of looking at porn.

 

Of course, we also refreshed and increased our internet controls too!

 

 

Have you had to deal with this issue?  Are there any hints or tips you would like to share?

 

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