So, now you’ve heard the stats. You have some strategies if that first glance (unintended or not) happens, you can teach your children what to do if they see pornography again. But what if they’ve seen it again and again and again because, well, they want to?
Here are some ideas:
1. Don’t freak out. Chances are good your child knows on some level what he/she’s doing is not healthy behavior. There might be a lot of shame associated with engaging with porn, especially when discussing it with you. Losing your cool and heaping more guilt or shame is not going to help the process. Rather, it might more fully push the issue into a dark closet, which is not where you want that issue to go.
2. Have a frank discussion about when he/she first saw porn.
3. Ask him/her to identify possible triggers (other than the hormonal teenager thing). Is he/she feeling inadequate, inferior, curious, lacking, stressed, anxious? Are there certain circumstances surrounding the time he/she chooses to engage?
4. Teach your child to pray for him/herself regularly. This is the prayer Craig (my husband) prays for himself daily:
“Christ Jesus, I count myself dead to sin but alive to God in You. Therefore I will not let sin reign in my mortal body so that I obey its evil desires. I choose not to offer the parts of my body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather I offer myself to God, as one who has been brought from death to life. I offer the parts of my body to You as instruments of righteousness. Sin shall not be my master, because I am not under the law but under grace. (based on Romans 6: 11-14 — prayer is from Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore.)
5. On the computer, put an index card on the computer with a saying that will resonate with your child. Something like “God has something better for me.” Or maybe a bible verse.
6. Have a frank discussion about what sex is really about and how God intended it to be.
7. Have your child tell another trusted adult (pastor, youth leader, uncle, aunt, etc) to help him have another outlet to go to if he needs it and who will keep him/her accountable in a loving way.
8. Brainstorm and write down a list of things he/she can do when tempted.
9. Read together this resource from Covenant Eyes and perhaps consider using software to help add another layer of accountability. Click here for the download. Also, check out these resources. This one is for TEENS. This one is for PARENTS.
10. Pray for your children, your husband, and for those in the porn industry. Ask the Holy Spirit for direction and go where He leads (i.e. counseling, book studies, bible study, etc).