It is now common for oral sex to be seen as the new kissing and for girls to send nude/partially nude photos of themselves via smart phones to boys as a way to express their interest. Here are 7 ways parents can help prevent their teen from becoming an addict.

  1. First of all, prevention works. Parents, you can be the authority and place safeguards on your computer. Just as important—be wise in the decisions you make about allowing your kids to have smart phones. Some kids simply are not ready to have possession of a smartphone. Allow them to have a phone, but do not provide a data package or Internet access.
  2. Talk to your children about sexual issues—not just once or twice, but make it a regular on-going communication. There is no such thing as “the sex talk.” An open line of communication with parents about sexual issues throughout the adolescent years is vital to help teens navigate these challenges.
    [tweetthis]Talk to your teen about sexual issues—not just once or twice, but make it a regular on-going communication.[/tweetthis]
  3. Put on software that will restrict the type of sites that can be accessed on your home computers and your teen’s computer. Even better, it is wise to use accountability software such as Covenant Eyes instead of just the blocking software. There are literally 5 million pornographic websites and most are available free of charge and accessed with a click of the mouse. The average age of an individual for first time internet pornography exposure is 9 years old. The computer companies are not interested in keeping your child safe. You as parents need to intervene and put those filters on.
  4. Talk to your teen about the dangers of becoming addicted to pornography. We tell our kids about the dangers of drugs. Porn is a drug!
  5. Put your computer in an open area of your home where people in your home mingle or often walk by that area. Don’t let your teen isolate himself in his or her room with the computer.
  6. Check your teen’s history on the computer. If you find that your teen is viewing pornography find out if there is a long-standing pattern of usage and sit down and have a conversation with him about the signs of addiction and the consequences of usage.
  7. Bring your teen to a counselor who specializes in pornography addiction. If your teen has a problem, find a trained therapist who can help. There are a few recovery programs also that can help you. The longer the addiction continues, the more difficult the recovery is. Remember—most individuals can’t break the addiction without help. Don’t trivialize or minimize the problems and somehow hope that the problem with go away on its own. Helping your child to manage the addiction now, rather than later in life will save them having to deal with the negative consequences as an adult.

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