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Your teen and The P-Word. How to find out where your teenager may be looking at porn and how to stop it

Your Teenager and the P-Word

by Regan

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Your teen and The P-Word. How to find out where your teenager may be looking at porn and how to stop itYes, I’m talking about porn. Sigh. My son is fifteen and I am not naive enough to think that he won’t be interested in looking at boobies and more. I was a teenager once and I remember sneaking a peek and especially with him being a boy, it’s inevitable. I don’t have my knickers in a twist over it, BUT that doesn’t mean that I am going to allow it. Understanding it and letting it happen are two totally different things. 

My issues with porn aren’t that it’s morally wrong or disgusting. To each their own. My biggest problem with porn is that it creates unrealistic expectations of women, sex, and relationships. Especially when we’re talking about teenagers at a time when they are just discovering their own sexuality. Come on, you don’t think teenage boys take 20-minute showers because they’re really into hygiene, do you?

Porn can also be addictive. My oldest son’s father had a porn addiction and it was just one of the (many) reasons why our relationship didn’t survive. He developed an unrealistic view of how relationships were supposed to be, how women were supposed to look, and how real people behave in the bedroom. It was not only the reason for our relationship ending, but also his marriage to the girl that he went on to marry after me. I have my doubts that he will ever be able to have a meaningful, real relationship with any woman and sadly, that is becoming a bigger and bigger problem in our society as pornography becomes more accessible than ever. This isn’t something that I want for my son. 

How can you find out whether or not your teen is looking at pornography?

Don’t assume that your teen can only access porn on a computer. They can find it anywhere these days. Respect your teen’s privacy but if you feel like you have to do spot checks or they have given you reason to believe that something’s going on, here are some things you check:

  1. Check their browser history.
  2. Monitor their social media. Check the pages they like, groups they belong to, even messages from friends if you need to. 
  3. Check their cell phone for apps and their web history.
  4. Check the photos on their phone – their friends may send them things, including sexting.
  5. Check their e-reader. Yes, porn is available for the Kindle.

How to combat the porn problem:

  • We have the passwords to all of my son’s social media accounts.
  • We do not allow the Snapchat or Kik apps. Just check the rating on it and read reviews. Not cool. 
  • The Kindle is attached to my email address so I know what he is downloading.
  • He can only use the computer in a main room of the house. 
  • I have installed a watchdog app on his phone so I have to approve most apps and am notified of downloads.
  • We use T-Mobile prepaid cell phone service because there are Teen (and child, etc) account settings.
  • We talk openly about understanding why he would be interested in it but also why it’s not okay. Again, respect their privacy and don’t embarrass or shame them, they will only shut down and tune you out.

I know that he isn’t with me 24/7 and his friends’ parents may not be as diligent at limiting their kids’ access to information as I am. I can only do so much without completely stifling him but if I can limit the vast majority of his exposure to pornography then I consider that a success. 

Are there any places that I’ve missed where porn can be accessed? I would love to hear about it so I can nip it in the bud in our house. 

Image credit: imagerymajestic via freedigitalphotos.net

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