3 Tips to Block Teens from Internet Porn

Looking at the stats about teens and porn use can be frightening, especially when you consider the kind of material they are watching. About 90% of boys and 70% of girls, ages 13 to 14, have reported accessing porn at least once the previous year, and 35% of boys reported viewing porn online “too many times to count.”

What can parents do to block teens from Internet porn?

Block Teens from Internet Porn

1. Buy an Internet filter that gives them freedom with accountability.

Most teens live their lives online. It has become a part of the normal way they stay connected to their peers. Instead of removing the Internet altogether, buy an Internet filter that gives them the freedom to explore the Internet while blocking inappropriate content.

More importantly, filtering should always be paired with some measure of accountability. Parents should monitor where their children go online at all times. Spying is not the answer, but accountability is. Teens should know they are being monitored. Knowing you will receive a regular report of everywhere they go online will help them think twice about where they go and what they see. (See a sample of what Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability Reports look like.)

2. Recognize the potential loopholes.

Even if you buy software for your computers and laptops, keep in mind other places where teens can easily access porn.

  • iPhone® and iPod touch® — The iPhone and iPod touch are fully Internet capable. Learn how to lock down Safari and other apps on these devices. Have your teen use the Covenant Eyes browser instead (which can be monitored and filtered).
  • Friend’s house — Your teen is only as safe has his or her friend’s home. You may lock down your devices, but what about your teen’s friends? Know who your teen’s friends are and get to know their parents. Find out how they are monitoring the Internet in their home.
  • School — School libraries and computer labs are often places where teens look at porn. Take time to learn how your local school is putting blocks in place.

3. Train them to be their own watchdog.

Ultimately, your best efforts are no match for a teenager who wants to find porn. People who want to look at porn will find a way. This is why the best porn blocker in the world is not a piece of technology. The best porn blocker is a teen willing to guard their own eyes and mind.

How do parents train their teens to do this? Ultimately, teens need to see why porn is not fulfilling their sex drive but is harming it. This means having open discussions with them about pornography.

When Your Child Is Looking at Porn - spreadIn my e-book, When Your Child is Looking at Porn, I talk about four ways in which parents can draw a contrast between pornography and real intimacy:

“First, porn is selfish; sex is giving. When you watch porn, you get to imagine that you are the star of the show. You get to imagine yourself being with beautiful men/women or being an attractive man/woman. You are the focus of their attention in the fantasy. But having sex in a loving manner is about both receiving and giving pleasure. You don’t want to train your mind to love masturbation more than sex with a real person. You don’t want to train your mind to see the opposite sex as a thing to be used rather than a person to be loved.

“Second, porn bonds you to an image; sex bonds you with a person. You are physically and emotionally wired for intimacy. That’s why God made sex so pleasurable, because it bonds a man and woman together. But when we lust after pornography, we are bonding to those images, not to a person.

“The people in porn are all playing a part. They are actors and actresses in a movie. Then the films are edited to take out all the boring parts and make the actors look their best. All the hormones that surge through your brain when you watch porn or fantasize about sex are the same hormones you experience when you have sex. Just like sex is designed by God to help you bond with your future husband/wife, when you masturbate to porn you are bonding with the images of people on the screen. When the time comes to get married, what if your husband/wife doesn’t look or act like all the scenes you’ve seen in pornography? No person is as clickable and customizable as a person on a screen. This only takes away your enjoyment of sex in the future.

“Third, porn is abusive; marital sex is nourishing. What you don’t see when you watch pornography is what it’s like when the camera stops recording. Often, men and women in porn don’t like the work they do. They have to take drugs and alcohol just to be able to have sex on screen. Many times the women were abused when they were young, and they continue to be used and abused in the industry. By watching pornography, we only give incentive to those who abuse these women to keep doing it. Porn stars are paid to make their lives look fun and glamorous, but many of them are dying on the inside.

“Fourth, porn dishonors God; marital sex honors Him. God has told us His will for us is to abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3). God will judge the sexually immoral and the adulterers because He wants the marriage bed kept pure (Hebrews 13:4). As a young man/woman of faith, don’t dishonor Him with your body by filling your mind with images of sin.”

Download a free digital copy of this book today!

Photo credit: fhashemi