With the omnipresence of internet pornography, more teens are viewing porn on a regular basis and becoming addicted. While most teens find ways to explore their sexual feelings, the problem with pornography is that it's addictive, stimulating the reward centers of the brain in ways that are similar to drugs. With too much exposure to porn, teens become desensitized, become drawn to more extreme or violent forms of pornography, and begin to view girls and sexuality in troubling and negative ways. Here are three tips for parents whose teens may be addicted to pornography:
Aim for a Compassionate Approach
When you first discover that your teen has been viewing pornography and may be addicted, you will likely experience a wide range of emotions. You may feel worried, anxious, ashamed, or angry at your teenager. It's important to get into a calm and compassionate state of mind before approaching your teen. Keep in mind that teens have brains that are still developing and therefore they are very vulnerable to pornography's addictive effects.
Your teen may be wrestling with serious feelings of shame and remorse, and not know how to break their addiction. Instead of piling onto their negative feelings, it's important to let them know you love them, are worried about the damaging effects of pornography, and want to help them.
Get Professional Help
Your teen will most likely benefit from the help of a professional therapist with expertise in teen pornography addiction. A professional will help determine the severity of your teen's addiction, help come up with an effective plan for recovering from the addiction, and also address any underlying emotional or psychological issues contributing to the addiction. In addition, a professional counselor can help your teen begin to think about their sexuality in ways that are more positive, healthy, and age-appropriate.
Create a Positive and Engaged Home Environment
This is not the time to be distracted, busy, and checked out from your family. Instead, look at this difficult time as a reminder to build strong, honest, respectful relationships with your children. Plan regular family outings and time spent together bonding in healthy ways to help counteract the unhealthy environment of pornography. Replacing your teen's addiction with healthy distractions such as camping trips, volunteering together as a family, and spending time playing sports or just having fun family movie nights can all help.
Approaching your teen's pornography problem in a proactive yet empathetic way will help ensure they are able to recover from their addiction. Contact a company like Lifeline for more information and assistance.Share