You may have clicked here because you have a serious and pressing issue that needs to be addressed immediately. You may be alarmed, upset, confused, and looking for some answers. We understand that every parent’s situation looks different when it comes to addressing the issue of pornography and internet dangers, but these answers should really help. Whether you have found your child looking at porn or just want to be proactive in protecting your family, these questions below will help get you going in the right direction.
I walked in on my teenager looking at porn. I was furious and yelled at them. What should I do?
Don’t Panic. Apologize! Tell your child you reacted badly and you are sorry. Give them a little space. Tell them you love them and would like to talk to them about what just happened. Ask them to relocate to another area. After going somewhere to sit and talk ask them about what happened. Avoid yes and no questions. Ask who, how, and when questions. Express to your child your feelings about pornography only after you have asked them their feelings about pornography. Your teenager is beginning to make his or her own decisions and even when they make a poor choice we as parents can be there to help them make better choices, not to bash, embarrass, and belittle them. It is definite your teenager is already horrified and even with some good information and open communication there is no guarantee they will never look again, but this is the time to establish an accountability partner and plan to help your child avoid pornography. Porn Talk Tips
What do I do if I don’t understand anything about computers or the internet? Technology baffles me.
It is time to learn! There are multiple sites dedicated to educating you. The first step is to not be intimidated, once you discover what you can do you will be like a pro! You do not have to be a computer wizard to help and understand your kids. A little information goes a long way. Also, one little bit of information will not hold you over, you must continuously keep current. Technology changes everyday and your commitment to learning and experiencing the internet for yourself will help you keep up with the ever changing cyber-space community.
Help! I just checked the history on my kid’s computer and found some horrific porn sites. What do I do?
First off, don’t assume it was your child and go guns blazing to talk to them. It would be important to address this issue but you may want to try and ask a few more questions. Talk to your spouse. See if friends have been over. Get the facts first and then we would encourage you at that point to have a family discussion about the rules of computer and internet use. You want to start the dialogue.
My child won’t talk to me about anything that’s related to their life. Especially porn. How can I connect with them?
Be encouraged, most families go through times when their kids feel distant from them. There are many reasons your kids do not feel like opening up, but understand it will take time. Avoid stern conversations with demands coming from you. This will just shut down your child. Start being friends with them and begin taking an interest in what they are interested in. After a while you will notice your child beginning to share with you. Do things they have been asking to do. Stop at a drive-thru or stay up late or maybe just take time for the two of you. Listen to your kids they will speak to you. As parents our list of priorities is not always theirs and if we are to begin to get them to open up we need to see life through their eyes. Kids need to feel they are accepted for who they are and they want to know even if you do not agree you will listen to them and allow them to make some of their own decisions. Conversation Starters
What do I do if I catch my child looking at gay porn? Does that mean they are gay?
Absolutely not! Kids are experiential, curious, and impulsive. When a person begins looking at porn many options are instantly given to them. Kids simply click on a catchy phrase and there they are. When they find themselves looking at something like that, they become interested. This is usually something they can’t believe and may become aroused and not understand why. Chances are your child is experimenting with porn, which is not to be ignored and an important conversation to have, but I would not immediately jump to the conclusion that your child is gay. Conversation Starters
My spouse won’t participate or help when it comes to talking about this subject. What should I do?
Keep encouraging your spouse to get involved. Expose him or her to sites like this and conversations that may make them more comfortable. Even role play with you spouse as if you were the child. Your child will benefit from having an open line of communication with both parents. However, if your spouse refuses you must pick up the slack. Your child needs to talk about tough subjects and they really need accurate information from someone who cares about them, not friends or acquaintances that really do not even know or understand what they are talking about. Kids need to understand consequences and you and your spouse are the best people to explain them.
Oh my gosh! My child went to a friend’s house and their Dad showed both of them some of his pornography. What should I do?
First and foremost sit down and talk with your child about what happened. It is okay for your child to see your disapproval, but do not overreact. Allow your child to explain in detail what exactly happened. Depending on what the answers are then it is time to talk to them about what they did when this happened. For example did they walk away, get embarrassed, feel guilty, or say nothing. These are the real issues. Your child’s feelings and reactions take precedence over everything else. After you have worked through the various feelings your child went through, then you can begin to discuss good solid things they can do if this ever happens again. Limit your child’s exposure to this family to prevent anymore accidents and if you feel comfortable call the other family and discuss your concerns about what happened.
My child just asked me a question about pornography that I don’t even understand. How should I respond?
Tell them you are so glad they came to you with their questions! Be Honest, tell your child you do not have all the answers but that you will find them out. Make an appointment to talk in a couple of days and take that time to find out the answer. Get back together in a couple days and tell your child the answer ,the complete answer. Don’t beat around the bush or leave anything out. This is your chance to show your kids you are open to them to talk about anything. Do not make this about your child or about you or about your beliefs. Be factual when you answer their question. If you have a moral opinion about the answer it is okay to say, “Wow, I did not know that,” or, “Wow, that is not very nice,” however, save it for after you have explained the answer.
My teen is hanging out with friends who think looking at porn is totally cool. What can I do?
Talk to your child about the effects of pornography and why it is not cool. Allow your child time to choose friends and do not punish your child for his or her honesty. Say things like, “Many people believe porn is cool and here is why.” Help your child to make his or her own decisions by giving them all the facts. Don’t force your decisions on them. How Porn Impacts Kids
My spouse and I don’t see eye to eye on the issue of pornography. How can we find better agreement on this stuff?
Sometimes in the beginning of conversations about topics like this it is best to try to agree on what is best for the children, not what is best for your spouse or for other people. Start with your child and what is best for them and go from there . Try to agree on a united front for your child’s sake. People who think pornography is just fine, rarely want it for their kids. Sure it will take time to get through the issues your spouse may have, but if it is possible to agree on what to do and the action you will take as parents, this will help tremendously. When setting rules if both parents agree to put the child first, normally the child will come out on top. On the other hand, if your spouse continues not to see eye to eye and will not support the boundaries you want to put in place, then be open about this to your child, they will eventually figure it out anyway. You must always tell your kids the truth. With kids sometimes you can say, “You are really lucky your dad was not as lucky as you, now you have an opportunity when your child asks you if you did this or that you will be able to say no.”
My kids found our porn stash and I’m so embarrassed. How should I deal with this?
Be open and honest with them. Don’t lie. Tell them you feel awful about what happened. The best thing to do is throw away this stash in front of your child. Make a decision to be a good example for them and stick to it. Kids are forgiving and resilient. Depending on the age of your child, it is important to admit to yourself if you regularly look at porn. Showing your kids that you believe porn is okay means chances are they will get caught up in porn too and it may potentially ruin their future relationships and potential family.
Help me! My teenage daughter went to meet some older man whom she met online.
Call the police immediately!