When Your Son Is Tempted By Porn

Why you need to go beyond Internet filters and "the talk"
When Your Son Is Tempted By Porn

Our son was recently on a regional athletic team. During lunch after one of the away games, the other parents shared stories about their sons’ showering habits, which apparently included waterproof cases for their handheld devices and excessively long stretches spent behind locked doors. Wink. Wink. They all laughed. Unable to cheerfully engage, I excused myself and went for a walk.

According to statistics, their boys are in the majority. A Covenant Eye’s article confirmed “93 percent of boys are exposed to Internet porn before the age of 18. Seventy percent have spent more than 30 consecutive minutes looking at online porn on at least one occasion, and 35 percent of boys have done this on more than 10 occasions.”

We need to think out ahead of them and proactively communicate in order to satisfy at least some of their natural curiosity.

What’s a mother to do? Do we have other options besides shrugging our shoulders and acquiescing to the truism that “boys will be boys,” especially when it comes to porn, masturbation, and other forms of sexual temptation? Our sons desperately need our help and advocacy in order to make a different choice.

Internal Barriers to Honest Communication

The ride through adolescent sexual development is bumpy, intimidating, and sometimes outright terrifying for both parents and teens. Despite their incremental—and developmentally appropriate—transition to autonomy, our teens still rely on us for guidance, affection, and love. The media complicates matters by bombarding our sons and daughters with the message that we—their parents—are incompetent. Because we so seldom feel like experts, that accusation lances our insecurities, triggering doubt and paralysis—particularly when we try to press in with a child of the opposite gender.

As a mother of three boys (aged 15 to 21), I often dodged these feelings by handing off the more vulnerable or potentially conflict-inducing conversations to my husband because, after all, he’s the resident expert on testosterone. But in the past five years, I’ve felt a growing conviction that I, too, have a unique role in educating and supporting my sons.

When I was growing up, my mother and father were silent about the changes my body was going through and offered no advice regarding how I might steward my sexuality. I was confused, occasionally scared, and often struggling with shame about what I was doing and viewing. Those memories have motivated me to do better with our sons—though I realize that determination alone won’t give me sufficient traction for the long haul.

Dorothy Littell  Greco

Dorothy Littell Greco is a TCW regular contributor as well as a photographer, writer, speaker and pastor. Follow her on Twitter at @DorothyGreco or at DorothyGreco.com.

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Challenges, Parenting; Motherhood; Parenting; Pornography; Sex; Sex Education
Today's Christian Woman, January Week 1, 2015
Posted January 7, 2015

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