Pornography is not healthy psychologically for anyone to watch. It’s a habit that can become addictive and damaging. As a parent, what would you do if you catch your child watching pornography?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to handling this situation. Each family will have its own unique story and set of circumstances. But some general guidelines can help you navigate this difficult situation:
10 Things to Do if You Catch Your Child Watching Pornography
Here are 10 things to do if you catch your child watching pornography
1. Don’t Panic
If you see your child watching an erotic film, chances are he or she has likely already seen it by the time you find out about it. Don’t panic. This isn’t the end of the world. It’s a big deal for you, but not your child.
You can pray at this point for strength to be calm and guidance on the next course of action you want to take.
2. Don’t React Impulsively or Angrily
Your first instinct may be to react with anger or frustration at your child once you’ve seen your child watching pornography because you will be upset.
It is understandable to get angry, but this is not the best way to handle things. You need to stay calm, think clearly and make wise decisions about how to respond.
3. Don’t Blame Yourself or Dwell on Past Mistakes
It’s easy to feel like a failure as a parent when something like this happens, but don’t place blame on yourself for this incident. You did nothing wrong in allowing your child access to the internet or in trusting them enough with their computer.
4. Curtail Future Exposure
Immediately turn the computer off and remove all devices that can connect to the Internet, including smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles.
If your child has a smartphone, ensure they don’t have access to any explicit or inappropriate material. If they do, we recommend installing parental control software on their device.
It’s also a good idea to check their browser history to see what sites they’ve been visiting recently.
5. Talk About What Happened
Have a conversation with your child about what happened. Be honest about how you feel about seeing them watching pornography online.
Tell them that it’s not okay for anyone, especially kids, to watch this kind of content because it isn’t real life, and the actors aren’t enjoying themselves. They’re acting out someone else’s sexual fantasies on camera for money.
You might also want to ask them why they were looking at this type of material online in the first place. Was it curiosity or boredom? Or did someone talk them into it? Whatever their reason is, let them know that it’s wrong.
Also, use this medium to tell your child about s3x. Teach God principles about this act; you can explain how it all works (Heb 13v4). Remember that he/she has seen erotic films, so be honest about what you tell them.
6. Don’t Threaten Punishment
If you’re angry or upset, don’t punish your child. They’re probably feeling ashamed for being caught in the first place. Instead of punishing them, help them understand why this was wrong and how to avoid doing it again.
7. Don’t Make It a Big Deal
If you make too big of a deal out of finding them watching inappropriate material, they’ll think that what they were doing was wrong, and they’ll want to hide their behavior even more than before.
Instead, try not to make it seem like such a big deal and treat it as an opportunity for education and discussion with your child about what happened.
8. Pray for Him/Her
Pray for God’s grace and mercy in this situation. Pray that he/she will receive healing from the harmful effects of pornography. Pray that God will give you wisdom on how to deal with it.
9. Ask Open Questions
Your child might feel embarrassed and not want to talk about what they’ve seen. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need help with it.
Encourage follow-up questions like “What did you think of that?” or “Why do you think they were doing that?” Don’t make assumptions based on their behavior or body language, and don’t embarrass them by talking about s3x openly in front of others.
Instead, focus on their reaction to what they saw and try to find out why they thought it was important enough to look up online in the first place.
10. Set Boundaries Around Internet Use at Home
By now, most children have access to the internet at home and might be able to look up whatever they like without any restrictions from their parents or guardians (1Corinthians 6v18).
Consider setting up parental controls so your children can only search for certain websites.
The Bottom Line
As parents, we must take responsibility for our children’s lives and well-being in every area, including their spiritual growth and relationship with God.
In this situation, you need to pray for your child and ask God for wisdom and guidance on how best to help them through this difficult time. It is difficult enough for them already without us adding more pressure or embarrassment by reacting badly ourselves.
Kids are always curious about s3x, don’t lie to them about this. You can always look for a truthful and simpler way to explain things to them.
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