The majority of adults do not understand that there is a risk of becoming addicted to pornography. They do not understand it is not a moral judgment nor that it is not a joke, it is an addiction. It is as easy to get addicted to pornography as it is to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Someone who is addicted to pornography will face a disruption in their life and will disrupt the life’s of those around them. The internet has pornography easily accusable for people of all ages. It is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Parents may not realize the risk of their teenagers becoming addicted to porn, but there is a risk and as parents, it is important to understand how you can possibly prevent it.
The typically parent assumes their children are naïve to the world around them, that their teenager would not seek adult content on the internet. Parents falsely assume their teenager is simply online doing his homework or chatting with friends from school. A teenager does not need to be online searching for adult sexual content to find it. There are spam emails that go to his email everyday and all it takes is one click of the mouse and he has entered a porn site. Often times when a teenager “stumbles” into a porn site, it has started with a click of the mouse to a website he may not have thought was a porn site, he may recognize immediately that it is inappropriate, but still have difficulties getting out of the website due to techniques used by the sites to keep them logged in.
When teenagers are exposed to pornography, it gives them a distorted view of what a “normal” relationship and sexual behavior really is about. A teenager is at the prime age for formulating their sexual identity and becoming a young adult. Having exposure to pornography may lead them to believe that what they are viewing, is reality in life. What may start as minimum exposure, could eventually spark their curiosity and lead to increased exposure and eventually perhaps an addiction to porn.
It is not always easy to talk to your teenager about sexually related topics, however, it is important to let your teenager know that you will listen, without judgment. A teen may be apprehensive in coming clean about visiting porn sites, but as a parent it is important that you monitor what sites they are visiting and encourage your teen to talk to you if they have visited these sites. If necessary, there are blocks you can install on the computer that may prevent your teenager from accessing porn sites. Should you discover your teenager is accessing porn on a regular basis, it is crucial that you talk openly with him about it. First and foremost do not talk down to the teen, but instead talk openly with him and explain the risk of possible addiction. Explain about the block you will put on the computer and discuss the possibility of him speaking to a professional therapist or attending a group meeting should he become anxious, depressed or isolated following the inability to access porn.