Talking with Your Teen About Porn: Overcoming the Barriers, Part 2 of 3

Talking with Your Teen About Porn: Overcoming the Barriers, Part 2 of 3

So, you suspect that your teen is viewing pornography. You feel like maybe you should have a conversation about that. Here we discuss the second of 3 common barriers to having this important conversation.

Barrier 2: “Porn is so repulsive! I feel completely disgusted. I don’t think I can talk to my son about this.”

What if I told you it’s not really about the porn? Yes, porn is arousing and accessible. It’s also easy for young people to think they’re not hurting anyone by watching it and they won’t get caught. And yes, there are a host of problems connected with viewing pornography.

But really, if we look beyond the behavior and explore what keeps someone ensnared in viewing porn, you might be surprised. Sometimes, it starts innocently with an accidental viewing. Or a young person is seeking sexual information, so as not to appear ignorant or inexperienced with their peers. They feel compelled to “see” and “know” because their friends appear to see and know about this stuff. Or a friend sends a link, which leads to further interest. Often times, there are unmet relational needs, an inability to connect deeply and authentically with others, or some painful feelings or uncomfortable situation that makes pornography the easy answer.

It is important to distinguish between your feelings toward your child and your feelings toward pornography.

While pornography is repulsive and it is problematic that your child is viewing it – your child is not repulsive. You will want to proceed with caution when addressing this topic. Young people tend to personalize any conflict; so your outward displays of disgust will most likely be interpreted as you being disgusted not only with his behavior or the content of what he is viewing – but with him, as a person.

Mindy Pierce, LPC
MPierce @ GrowCounseling.com

Photo Credit: Public Domain

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