Advice for Parents of Teen Porn Addicts (Part 3)


When faced with their teen’s struggle, most parents don’t know where to begin to get the helps he or she needs.

by Rob Jackson

With the advent of the Internet, parents are finding it increasingly difficult to shield their children from pornography. Now, in addition to the exposure kids might encounter from classmates who borrowed one of their father’s magazines, most school-age children and adolescents are spending large amounts of time online for homework or entertainment reasons. Attorney General John Ashcroft has estimated that nine in ten teens have been exposed to pornography. Unfortunately, many of these teens are susceptible to developing addictions or compulsions to these images.

The term “addict” may seem severe. Most parents will initially minimize the problem, hoping their son or daughter is simply “experimenting.” Experience has taught me that, in many cases, at least one of the parents will have faced similar struggles when he or she was younger. Today, however, Internet pornography is the fast ramp to sex addiction. Coupled with a greater moral decay in the culture and the fact that children’s minds are still are still in the process of developing to maturity, addiction can happen quicker than we parents like to think.

Not long ago, I was a guest on Focus on the Family’s teen call-in radio show Life on the Edge Live! During the hour, several adolescents called in to discuss sexual integrity. Even having previously treated adolescent addicts, I was surprised that the first four callers identified themselves as sex addicts – three of which were females.

My own practice and experiences such as those on the call-in show demonstrate that the problems of teenage pornography and sex addictions are real, devastating, and increasing. When faced with their teen’s struggle, most parents don’t know where to begin to get their child the help he or she needs.

Taking ownership

In many situations, the first reaction is to determine who is to blame within the family. It is important to realize, however, that bad things still happen to good families. This does not absolve certain parties from taking responsibility where it is needed. Everyone needs to take ownership of his or her piece of the puzzle.

For example, parents need to ask if they have provided a comprehensive sex education that truly equipped their child with the winsome truth expounded in the Bible. Setting proper foundations for understanding a Christian sexual ethic is a crucial step in protecting children from later sexual disorder.

Parents will also want to re-evaluate the types and amounts of media they have allowed in the home. People tend to absorb the messages that bombard them in popular media; more so with teens and young children. What have your children been listening to and watching? Is their media reinforcing respectful messages about sexuality and the dignity of the person, or is it working to erode these foundational principles in your child’s mind?

Another often-overlooked problem is the sad reality of sex abuse. Most sex addicts have suffered sexual abuse at some point in their lives, and treatment of sex abuse is foundational to overcoming sex addiction.

Read more here: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/sexuality/when_children_use_pornography/advice_for_parents_of_teenage_porn_addicts.aspx
 

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