#WWWOPK E2- 13 & Addicted to Porn

I am a 13-year-old boy and I am afraid that I am addicted to porn. I want to stop but I don’t know what to do. I wish I could tell my parents but I feel they would use it against me.

Word "porn" on a fishing hook

For a child at this age to identify that he/she has a problem and consider talking to his/her parents about it is very brave and highly commendable. Let’s be honest, the risk of being stigmatized or the thought of being a disappointment to one’s parents can be really scary.

It can also be heartbreaking for a parent to discover that their child is engaging in inappropriate behavior. Sometimes to cope with this heartbreak, some parents resort to anger, emotional blackmail or denial. Unfortunately, none of this helps the situation at hand and reacting wrongly can block any opportunity parents may have to help the child.

In this episode of “What We Wish Our Parents Knew” we share tips that parents or parent-figures can use in the event that they are approached by a child who is struggling with porn and needs help.

  1. Appreciate him/her for trusting you enough to talk to you about it. Let the child know you’re on their team and ready to help them. Don’t break the confidence they have in you by telling other people except where it is absolutely necessary e.g the child’s other parent, a therapist or any other person you feel can actually help the child.
  2. Be empathetic – with porn and other inappropriate material so easily accessible and a lot of times popping up unsolicited, it requires a great deal of self-control and other skills for young people not to feed their curious minds.
  3. Do not shame – This child is most likely already feeling ashamed. Heaping further shame does not help in any way and shaming has never been an effective parenting technique. Condemn the act, not the person.
  4. Stay focused on finding a solution – Blaming, shaming, name-calling, and emotional blackmail or denial will not proffer any meaningful solution. Remember what you’re trying to do is help this child break this habit. So please keep calm.
  5. Talk & Ask Questions – You want to find out how long this has been going on and what the triggers are. This way you’re able to assess the situation and determine what kind of intervention would be needed to help the child break the habit.
  6. Tough Love – Inform the child of certain “tough-love” measures that would be taken such as limited access to the internet and social media; taking their smartphone away; not allowing them to use their laptops or access the internet in private spaces etc. Please follow through with these measures as it is in the best interest of the child. Let the child know that you would hold him/her accountable and would be monitoring them either by using internet filters or making surprise checks until such a time that they are totally rid of the habit.
  7. Pray for the child to develop the needed resilience to break the habit.

It’s important to mention that where a parent is the one who finds out that their child is consuming porn, the approach is slightly different:

  • Confront the child with facts BUT still avoid shaming.
  • Let the child know that this adverse effects of this habit on their emotions, relationships etc.
  • Try and get the child to understand that you want to help him/her and would be taking certain measures and doing whatever you consider necessary to help them break the habit.
  • Apply some of the “tough love” measures we talked about earlier.

Dealing with porn consumption/addiction as with breaking any other habit, may be slower than you want with probable episodes of relapse. So please be patient and stay focused on the end goal which is to help the child break this habit.


This blog is powered by RAVE Et Al (RAVE) a social enterprise that is championing the building of a society where success is driven by values.

As the pioneer DQ Ambassador in Nigeria (first in Africa) and a member of the DQ Coalition, RAVE Et Al is also championing the #DQEveryChild initiative in Nigeria. Our mission is to enhance our children’s Digital Intelligence Quotient (DQ) and set a global standard of digital citizenship for all children around the world.

#WWWOPK 2

Advertisements

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s