My Child Was Caught Viewing Porn! What Do I Do?

My Child Was Caught Viewing Porn! What Do I Do?

The shock, shame, and anger that first takes place when you stumble upon the fact that your child has viewed porn is understandably terrifying. Every parent hopes their child will live with sexual integrity, and when we hear the statistics of kids and porn it can be disheartening. Yes, the average age of a child viewing porn in the United States is age 11 and there isn’t a mother or father around whose heart doesn’t break when we hear that fact. So what do we do?

Here are 5 tips for handling the almost inevitable fact that your child will look at porn whether on purpose or even accidentally.

1. Don’t Freak Out

I know you may want to. Our natural reaction is to panic, but too much emotion or anger will only complicate the matter. So take a deep breath, and realize it is not the end of the world. Most kids who view pornography don’t become sex offenders.

2. Make This a Teachable Moment

When you imagine the end for your kids, what you truly want is to help them develop a healthy, positive view of sexuality. Sometimes, one of the most effective ways to teach healthy sexuality is to help them understand that “it’s not that” (pornography), but “this”(God-honoring, positive sexuality). Use the poor choice of looking at porn as a positive opportunity to teach them the beauty of God-given sexuality and why we wait until marriage and adulthood.

3. Create Consequences Within Reason

If stumbling upon porn was truly accidental there should be no consequence; but if they chose to view a porn site then yes, developing boundaries with consequences for their actions is the right thing to do. But do it without shaming them, and create the consequences as a boundary to keep them from constant porn use and, more importantly, help them make better decisions. For the first offense, this might mean taking away a mobile device and adding a blocking filter along with regular monitoring by a parent or parents.

4. Teach Positive, Healthy Sexuality

The prescription for making better decisions about sex is for parents to proactively teach their kids healthy sexuality. All studies show the more positive healthy sex education is communicated in the home, the less promiscuous kids will be. So don’t just have one conversation. Make it an ongoing dialogue.  Sure there will be awkward moments. That’s okay, sexuality can be awkward. I write books on the subject, and my own kids have mocked me plenty of times for those ongoing conversations.

5. Find Helpful Resources

There are excellent resources to equip you to help your kids develop sexual integrity, and even in the area porn addiction. I always suggest you find Christian resources that stay true to your values to come alongside you. A few of my go-to websites are CovenantEyes.com, xxxChurch.com and of course HomeWord.com for “Pure Foundation Resources” for ages 3 to adult.

In this digital world, it is harder than ever to protect our kids’ eyes and minds. So start the conversation early and have it often.

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the President of HomeWord and the Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 30 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage and Closer. Jim and his wife, Cathy live Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca and Heidi.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns and supported by Doug Fields, HomeWord and Azusa Pacific University have partnered to form The HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. Learn More »

  • About Azusa Pacific University

    APU is a leading Christian college ranked as one of the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Located near Los Angeles in Southern California, APU is a Christian university offering associate’s, bachelor’s, master's, doctoral, and degree completion programs, both on campus and online. Learn More »

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