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Apr 15 2012

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Focus on the Family: Porn a Dangerous Temptation for Teens – They Need Positive Role Models and Healthy Relationship Examples

By Jim Daly and Dr. Juli Slattery

Q: I was looking on my teenage son’s computer and noticed that he’s been looking at porn sites. I’m a single mom and just don’t know what to do. I’ve talked with him about how damaging it is for him to look at these things and he continues to do so. How can I help him understand?

Juli: Many teen boys and girls are caught up in Internet porn. It’s an epidemic. I know it feels awkward as a mom to talk to your son about sexual issues. But it’s a discomfort you have to push past for his sake.

Begin by validating the fact that it’s normal for him to struggle. He has a natural, God-given sexual drive, and that’s a good thing! However, when that drive is channeled into casual sex or porn, it’s harmful to him and others. There’s a lot of shame associated with porn and teen sexuality. Don’t pile on more. However, he needs to understand that porn is poisonous and evil. Many of the women used to make it are sexually trafficked, underage and exploited.

I recommend that you teach your son to play both “defense” and “offense.” Insist that his computer and other devices have accountability and filtering software such as Safe Eyes or Bsecure.

Offensively, your son needs encouragement and training from other men on how to handle sexual temptations. Fortunately, there are many church groups addressing this issue. If you’re already involved in a church, help your son get plugged into a youth group or a men’s Bible study that can help him grow. It’s important that he get a vision not just for what to say “no” to, but what to say “yes” to. Pray that God will bring men into his life to challenge him to be a man of integrity.

EDITORIAL: I agree with Juli that you have to keep going with communication about sexuality and porn. Too many parents are uncomfortable so they neglect this area and it shows in our society today. I’d add that you want to show him examples of what healthy relationships are as well as getting him in touch with other males who are out there helping to address this important issue. And, if you’re not involved in a church with a youth based anti-porn program, look online for resources. I have a few listed in the sidebar at Porn in the Valley that are teens and college students helping others like themselves battling with porn addiction and the stigmas that go with it. Fight the New Drug is one of them. This is a way for young people to meet and talk to others their own age, that they can relate to and who are dealing with the same problems.

It’s a matter of sex education to show kids there’s a more intense and intimate side of sex when you care about the person you’re with instead of just hooking up or masturbating to fantasies. We have to show our youth that there are other options for their sexuality that are healthy and normal so they can see they are in direct opposition with the doctrines their porn has. Young people are looking for answers. They aren’t happy with where they are at sexually and with what their future looks like out there. Show them the way. They will be happy to follow as long as it’s realistic and obtainable. Abstinence only isn’t for everyone so teach them responsibility to use when they are ready!

Good luck,

Diana

 

Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family, host of the Focus on the Family radio program, and a husband and father of two. Dr. Juli Slattery is a licensed psychologist, co-host of Focus on the Family, author of several books, and a wife and mother of three. Submit your questions to: ask@FocusOnTheFamily.com .

 

http://www.times-herald.com/close-up/20120415-focus-on-the-family-MOS

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