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What do you do when your child is looking at pornography?

So, your son (or daughter) has been looking at pornography. That should shake you to the core as a parent. How you handle this situation will drive you and your child apart or draw you closer together.

Research shows that 70% of pornography viewers are male and 30% are female. Additionally, 12-17 year olds comprise the largest consumer group of pornography. Also, the average age of introduction to pornography is 8 years old. Those statistics are staggering and cause us as parents to shudder.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind. First, never shame your child. Shame is very destructive and closely tied to pornography and sexual addictions. Steer clear of “I’m so disappointed in you” and “I can’t believe you…” Instead, affirm your love and commitment and let your child know that you will get some help. Next, understand that there are issues going on inside your child that need to be addressed. We are ready to help with that. Third, there are probably some hardware and software solutions (partial solutions) that would be important for you to know about. We can point you toward the best we have found. But understand that no battle against pornography was won by a new filter or by taking a phone away. You have to win the battle for the heart and help your child learn to make different decisions. At it’s core, that is about your relationship.

This is a topic that we deal with every week. We are here to guide you, to point you back to truth, to share with you the best resources available, and help your child learn to be wise.

Call us to schedule an appointment. We can meet with you quickly to address this important need. As always, we know that confidentiality is important.

Robert Otto, Ph.D.

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