7 Steps if You Have a Child Addicted to Porn


child addicted to porn

Most statistics on pornography say the average age of a child’s first exposure is 11 years old. New research from the security technology company Bitdefender has reported that children under the age of 10 now account for 22 percent of online porn consumption by people under 18 years old. Kids’ exposure to porn is getting steadily younger and parents must scramble to keep up with the times in order to protect our children.

If you catch your child using pornography or if you have a child addicted to porn, here are 7 steps to take to protect him or her.

1. Say, “I love you.” Then, say it again.

Many children stumble onto pornography by accident initially, but they keep coming back for a variety of reasons. Some children use porn because they think it’ll help them in their “real” relationships. Others don’t believe they are worthy of a relationship with another person, so they use porn as an alternative.

Whatever the case, continued use often leads to addiction, and children find that they need to view more porn—and more extreme and sometimes more violent porn—to get the same sexual release, as is the case with other addictions, like alcohol and drugs. There is a lot of shame involved and children need to be reminded repeatedly that nothing they do will ever change the fact that you love them.

2. Remind your child that he or she is a victim.

Most first exposures to pornography are accidental, and even though continued pornography viewing is a bad choice on your child’s part, there are others to blame. The people who create and circulate pornography seek out vulnerable individuals, including children, and turn them into victims. 

3. Applaud your child’s honesty.

Not all people addicted to porn can admit they have a problem. Many will lie about porn habits rather than admit the truth, especially a child when confronted by a parent. Your child defied the odds and should be commended for being honest. By admitting to a problem and accepting your support, your child has taken the first step on the path to healing.

4. Lay ground rules for home life, limiting your child’s access to technology.

If your child is looking at porn or if you suspect you have a child addicted to porn, you’ve got to get the house rules in place. Basic house rules should include no technology in the bedroom or bathroom (including cell phones). Allow technology only in public areas—and only while other people are around. Usually, this means setting a nightly curfew for technology use.

5. Use filtering software.

Use it on all computers, tablets, and cell phones, as well as smart TVs. Covenant Eyes is one of the most popular filtering software services and one of several ways to safeguard your kids.

6. Encourage open conversations with your child.

Continued support and regular check-ins will help protect your child from further exposure to porn. By giving your child the space to be open about pornography struggles, you will be in a better position to offer him or her the support he or she needs. In addition, open conversation is a wonderful opportunity to pray with your child. Porn addiction affects a person’s mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and prayer can be a vital part of the healing process.

7. If necessary, seek professional guidance.

If you’re unsure where to begin, consider asking your child’s pediatrician. Many children addicted to porn have been able to rise above the temptation without professional support, but there’s nothing wrong with seeking outside assistance.

What steps have you taken to protect your kids from pornography?

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