What should parents do when they have just learned that their teen is viewing pornography? Are there some things not to do? What is the best way to initially respond? In this episode, Dr. John helps parents to know how to respond when they find out that their teen is viewing pornography. We will also address some of the most frequently asked questions from parents when they make this shocking and disturbing discovery.
DID YOU KNOW?
Just how prevalent is the exposure of teens to pornography? Between 2008 and 2011, exposure to porn among boys under the age of 13 jumped from 14% to 49%. Daily use among this group more than doubled. Before teens get to college, 93% of the boys and 62% of the girls have see online pornography (from Dr. John Foubert, How Pornography Harms What Today’s Teens, Young Adults, Parents, and Pastors Need to Know).
WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT
Pornography is increasingly a part of mainstream culture. How concerned should parents be about this discovery? Is it really that big a deal? How should parents NOT respond? One suggestion: Avoid reacting with anger and shame. The best thing is to ask for God’s help and remain calm and demonstrate concern for their teen’s spiritual life.
What are some of the key questions for parents to ask their teen? Questions to ask include: How long have you been viewing pornography? What kinds of pornography have been viewed? Who introduced you to the porn? How do you feel about what you’ve been watching? Have you been lying and deceitful about using porn? How much of a problem do you think you have?
The ultimate goals to asking probing questions are to discern how much of a problem your teen has and how long this has been going on.
Does the Bible address this issue in any way? If so, how? See 1 Corinthians 6:18. Also, what can we learn from the life and ministry of Jesus about how to treat women? Dr. John shares some significant observations from the Gospels.
What are the risks and dangers for teens? How does pornography impact young people?
When should a parent get help for their teen who has been viewing pornography? Christian counseling is highly recommended. You can get help locating a counselor by calling Focus on the Family at 1-800-A-FAMILY.
TAKE THE PORN QUIZ
Does your teen have a problem with pornography? How can you know if your teen truly struggles with a porn addiction? Sit down with your teen and take this 25-question survey to gain a better understanding of just how significant of a problem your teen may have.
Teens, Tech & God is a podcast resource brought to you by Dr. John Thorington, director of Restoring Hearts Counseling in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and author of the book “Pure Teens.” The podcast is dedicated to equipping parents with the tools and knowledge to raise kids committed to God’s purpose for sexuality, the family, and the honorable use of all technology.