How to Respond to a Child who has been Exposed to Pornography (Part 2)

Here are questions to ask as you evaluate your child’s exposure to pornography.

by Rob Jackson

Was this my child’s first exposure?

It will also be important to learn if this was his first exposure to pornography. The frequency of exposure matters, as a child becomes increasingly desensitized over time. As desensitization occurs, a child typically begins to seek a greater frequency of pornography, and a harder or more severe quality. Greater frequency and a shift to hard-core pornography are indicators that the brain has begun to seek more stimulation, which can lead to addiction.

If you learn that your child has developed a habit of viewing pornography, it will be important to seek the services of a specialist who is trained to facilitate recovery.

Just exactly what did my child see?

What types of pornography did he see? Sadly, with the Internet a child can be exposed to a wide range of sexual perversions in seconds. If your child has an e-mail address, chances are he or she is being exposed to pornographic e-mail. One recent study found that 47 percent of school-aged children received porn spam on a daily basis. This study also found that as many as one in five children open the spam they receive.1 It will be important to learn about the types of pornography that your child viewed. For example, was the pornography heterosexual or homosexual? Was it limited to body parts or did it include sex acts? Was sexual violence a part of the pornography, and did it include bestiality?

Many parents will seek the help of a therapist at this point. Wisely, they want to safeguard their roles as parents, and avoid harming the relationship by making the teen feel interrogated or ashamed as they ask such difficult questions. The therapist can also delicately approach the job of ascertaining to what extent he or she has been exposed to more severe types of pornography, without inadvertently planting ideas the teen has never even imagined.

Regardless of what was viewed, it will be more important to rehabilitate your child than to merely correct or punish him.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/sexuality/when_children_use_pornography/how_to_respond.aspx

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When Children View Pornography (Part 1)

1st in a series of 5

By Rob Jackson, Focus on the Family

No healthy parent wants to think about his child viewing pornography, but it often happens. Some researchers have stated that the average age of exposure to pornography is down to 8. Before the days of the Internet, children were typically between the ages of 11 to 13 when they began by viewing soft-core pornography found in magazines like Playboy.

Today’s child lives in a culture where hard-core pornography abounds. Our children are being seduced daily, and we need to bear this fact in mind whenever we have the occasion to redirect them away from pornography.

The goal

We want to be intentional parents. It’s our privilege and responsibility to educate them about sexuality. We want to begin early, and continue throughout their time with us in the home.

The ultimate goal for our children’s sexuality is that they will be able to see the dynamic interplay between sexuality and spirituality. As Christians, we want to help them understand, for example, that sexual intercourse is an act of love shared between a husband and wife. This sacred act symbolizes the spiritual union that will occur between Christ and His bride, the Church, upon His return to earth. We hope our sons will see themselves as a type of Christ as they relate to their wives, and that our daughters will see themselves as a type of the church as they relate to their husbands. What we model today in our marriages will likely reproduce itself in our children’s marriages.

By helping our children to see the big picture about the sanctity of sex, we are better prepared to confront the problem of pornography when and if it occurs in our children’s lives.

Continue reading here: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/sexuality/when_children_use_pornography.aspx