When Your Child is Looking at Porn

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

When you find your child or teenager has been looking at porn, how should you talk to him or her about it? Download this step-by-step guide for Christian parents to help you teach your children about harms and false messages of pornography.

8 thoughts on “How to React the First Time Your Child Admits Watching Porn

  1. This article is so important. I remember first telling my mom about my masturbation/porn use. When I told her that I masturbated, she sort of laughed it off and said that it’s okay, that it’s just a part of growing up. Then she said “as long as you don’t watch porn”. Then I told her I did that too. She was silent until I said “Are you mad at me?” And she said “Well… just don’t do it anymore”. And that’s all I remember. I’ve only talked to my parents once about porn since and again, I felt a very passive, side-line type of support. I don’t want to blame them for my addiction because it’s not their fault, but I always wish that I could have more support from them and those first impressions really didn’t leave me feeling like I had that.

  2. I am a small group leader in a local Celebrate Recovery, which includes a sex addiction support group. So I understand where you are coming from.

  3. I get t caught by my mom. Though I didn’t know it at the time, my grandfather was going through the exact same thing, and in his 60’s, he had a problem with “touching people” as they put it. They were afraid I’d turn out the same way.

    To this day, I despise my dad for installing Parental Controls, which was far more restrictive than necessary, threatening to take away the family computer, and generally shaming me by forcing me to go to a recovery group full of adults at church, reminding me of it constantly, reminding me that I “have a history” and generally being disciplinarians.

    I now believe my dad is a close-minded Puritan with a stick up his ass, and my mom is a badgering idiot who will never understand how porn affects the male brain and that she just needs to shut her fucking trap about it.

    That said, I’ve reached a point in my life where I can only move forward by becoming closer to God, which requires moving away from porn. I have my own laptop. I am subscribed to Covenant Eyes. I pay $12 a month for a service I don’t actually use, since I have a low willpower and can simply turn it off.

    Now, I could send control of my account to a partner. But after the much-loathed Parental Controls and shaming they gave me, I find it easier to quit porn myself than give control of my laptop to someone else.

    If my partner was paying the subscription, it’d be a different story. They pay = they get control. But since I’m paying, only I should get control. Which defeats the purpose of the program. A mentor offered to be my partner, but I can’t ask the man to pay my sub for me. Shall I remove this useless program and save my money, or keep lying to myself that it’s helping?

    • Hello. What is it that you despise about parental controls? If you will allow me to be really direct, it sounds like you believe that you are in control and don’t need someone else to break free. That is the lie. You aren’t in control. You probably haven’t really ever been in control. Porn controls. That’s what it does. Paying for Covenant Eyes (or whatever service you might use) is a step, but no service will help you break free. It’s Christ and Community that does it. Of course Covenant Eyes feels useless – but that’s because of the manner in which you’re using it. Take a honest look in the mirror – if you truly want to stop looking at porn and start to live the full life you were meant to live, then come clean, get an accountability partner, give him control of the devices, and make the firm decision that you’re ready for battle. A battle for freedom and your life.

      Absent those things, you will continue to struggle. You will continue to be controlled (even though it will feel like control). I want you to break free!! Which means, I don’t want to sugar-coat what you’re up against. It’s a monster that cannot be tamed. I hope you take the next, hard steps.

      Peace, Chris

  4. I have a question. This post expresses the importance of being a safe place for your kids to come with questions or issues of sexuality, and making sure that they feel that in the first encounter. But what if you need to confront them for finding something, not them approaching you/admitting anything? How does that approach change when you are needing to confront their porn use?

    • I think it would be helpful to reframe the idea of “confronting” your child about porn use. Think instead of SUPPORTING them with an issue that is incredibly difficult to manage in today’s world.

      You don’t want to shame them, because shame only leads to hiding, pretending, denying, and repressing the problem.

      You want to HELP them become more open about their issues, more able to turn to safe people for support when they need it.

      “I found X on your phone. It looks like you’re having a hard time managing the internet in a healthy way. How can I help you with that?”

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