What would you advise parents to tell their son who is just gaining unsupervised access to Internet porn?

Submitted by gary on
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In other words, how do you educate a kid about highspeed porn at an age when one of his prime evolutionary jobs is to create some distance from his parents and learn everything he can about human mating?

Your feedback will be incorporated in an upcoming presentation that will be delivered to parents and therapists in LA.



How I have dealt with this...

My son is 14 and I have been very candid about internet pornography and the opportunity for over stimulation. We have discussed masturbation and adolescent emerging sexuality vs. what happened to me in my youth. We have discussed openly how it is possible to let images dominate our minds especially if we are very visual type people.

Together we notice escalated visual impact in mainstream media and how it is often used in video gaming never mind pornography. He likes girls and has several girls pursuing him at high school but they seem to be ahead of him in terms of physical attraction at this stage. He finds our (adult) interest in all things sexual pretty funny , but I have warned him it is common to fall into a difficult trap when it comes to what we choose to stimulate ourselves with.

I used to be afraid to have any one know about my "secret" addiction to P/M. I now think it can be beneficial to others (where appropriate) as I can share first hand how easy we can become trapped. I am glad I admitted this to my son and he seems to have benefited from my struggles. However, he has and always has been quite mature and measured.

Well, when I have kids I plan

Well, when I have kids I plan on being completely honest with them. I know sexuality is a sensitive issue and a lot of people don't like to be open and honest about it, but I really think that is the only way to really make the point of how bad internet pornography can mess you up. For myself, I plan on just telling about my own addiction and what it did to me. I will emphasize the flatline during rebooting and ED with real women. I'll emphasize the behavioral abnormalities that I developed (shyness, sex crazed, mental fog) while using porn and how great life felt when I finally kicked it (or how good it could always be if you never messed with it). I suppose the last thing I would say is that it is very important to not even toy with it because pornography is a super stimulus like any hard drug. Once you get a taste, it can be a real pain in the ass to quit and life can spiral downhill quickly. I wouldn't tell my kid they couldn't do it (because then they would probably want to in defiance). Rather, I would let them make their own choices but make sure that they know just how bad pornography can mess you up. Also, I plan on filtering my internet when I have kids just to make the temptation less accessible.

So those are the points I would make, I would just work on the argument so that it didn't seem like I'm depriving them or telling them not to do something. What worked best for my family was when my parents gave us choices and let us decide. Then if we made the wrong choice their disappointment was the worst punishment imaginable. Whereas if they had just said don't do something, no option and no explanation, I probably would have done it just to figure out why I wasn't supposed to. Hope that helps.

I don't have children, but I

I don't have children, but I don't think the info in the video series about the brain and porn is too advanced for an adolescent. The videos are helpful in a number of ways that go outside of porn stimulation too, so I would defiantly share that information with them. I suspect that children who have grown up in the digital age are already primed for such things as highspeed porn, so it could be very valuable info.