Sexual Recovery Blog

How to Talk to your Teens about Porn (Part II)

Posted by Anthony Liu on

In my previous post, I wrote about the importance of talking to your teen about porn.  Here are four tips to help facilitate the talk.

1) Have a continual conversation with your kids about sex

Unfortunately for many youth, their first exposure to pornography signals their first sex education.  Because many pornography scenes depict unrealistic or degrading scenarios, youth are left with unhealthy notions of sex and may play those out in their dating relationships.  To set their teens up for success, parents need to take the time to educate their sons and daughters about not only the biological aspect of sex, but also about the values and meaning behind their sexuality.  It’s not only about talking about the “what” or “how” of sex; it’s about the “why.”
Several former clients have indicated that when they were teens, their fathers read books like Every Young Man’s Battle with them to begin the discussion about the birds and the bees.  Of course, none of them could give me specifics as to what was discussed.  The teens, however, reflect that it was worthwhile of their time.  They received the message that sexuality was important.

2) Have a sense of congruency between your words and values

Many of my clients who come in later in life for sex or pornography issues first discovered pornography through their father’s “secret” stash of porn.  These days, high speed internet has made it so that anybody can access porn practically any time or anywhere.  Yet, kids who see their parents engage in inappropriate behavior get the implied message that “if it’s okay for my parents to do this, then it’s okay for me to do this.” 

3) Protect your household through setting limits with computer access. 

My wife and I have an adorable eight-month-old son, and we’re in the process of baby-proofing the house. We buy outlet protectors, baby-proof gates, and generally strategize about how to make the house safer for our son.  In the same vein, teens are in their sexual infancy and need protection.  Internet filters are a wise investment.  The latest computers come with a “family safety” option, where parents can control the content viewed.  If the family is using a desktop computer, set up the station in the living room or other area where others are around.  Also, establish guidelines as to limits of cell phone usage.

4) Spend time with your teen. 

This last tip is perhaps the most crucial.  While your teen may send you the message that they are too cool to hang around their parents, they aren’t.  Teens need a wall to push against.  They need somebody to set limits.  Listen to what they have to say without judgment.  Doing so helps to develop a relationship based on trust and communication.  For some teens without a secure parental connection, getting caught looking at porn could be a cry for attention, for help, and for relationship.

Comments

to leave comment