Talking With Your Teen About Porn: 7 Tips for Having the Conversation(s), Part 2 of 2

Talking With Your Teen About Porn: 7 Tips for Having the Conversation(s), Part 2 of 2

We’ve spent plenty of time in prior blogs discussing whether or not porn use merits a conversation with your teen; and addressing common barriers to having this conversation; and offering suggestions as you prepare yourself for the conversation.

Finally…you are ready to talk! Here are the last 4 of 7 great tips to keep in mind when you have your conversation:

4. Increase monitoring and filtering.

Change settings and install software on computers, phones, and gaming devices. Here’s a website that offers reviews of several phone monitoring software options: http://cell-phone-parental-control-software-review.toptenreviews.com/. Just to give you a taste of all that can be monitored, filtered, limited, or “controlled” on phones and computers… Options include 1) report and logging of: call history/details, texts, emails, GPS, pictures, internet use, videos, calendar updates, bookmarks; 2) a range of features: application blocking, keyword alerts, ability to filter, web blocking, time blocking, restricting numbers, contact blocking or flagging; and 3) security and tracking: encrypted communication, SIM change, remote wipe, remote lock, and GPS fencing.

5. Set boundaries.

Make sure computers and game systems are used in common areas of the home (not in bedrooms), where you can have easy visual access to your child’s online behaviors.

Consider putting limits on how often your child can be on his/her computer or phone. You can change settings to put limits on devices. I also know a family that keeps a basket by the front door. All phones go into the basket upon entering the house. This promotes actual relational interaction when at home. If your child’s phone is a permanent appendage to the body, you might want to moderate that a bit. (Be prepared: you might have to model this change yourself!) How about a family conversation about pros and cons of always being on the phone / online and any changes the family might want to commit to making together?

Establish an accountability plan. I encourage having passwords to all your child’s online accounts, monitoring them, and then having open conversations about the content. Some parents have their child “turn their phone in” to Mom and Dad every night and review the child’s daily activity. You pay for the electronics and the wireless plans. Checking out what is on the laptop, tablet, phone, IPod, DS, etc. is your parental responsibility. The intent is not necessarily to “catch” wrongdoing, but to offer accountability and to generate conversations as our youth learn how to navigate these complex, hormone-laden years.

6. Get resourced.

Here are several books that might be helpful (these are all faith-based):

7. Find a Counselor.

If you need additional direction or support, or if you are interesting in finding a counselor for your unique situation, check out our list of therapists, or contact GROW directly. We would be happy to answer any questions.

Mindy Pierce, LPC
MPierce @ GrowCounseling.com

Photo Credit: Public Domain

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