“I Caught My Son Looking at Porn, What Do I Do?”

I Caught My Son Looking at Porn

It’s finally happened… Your son got curious about naked women and searched for dirty pictures online.

Maybe you came home to find his search still in the search bar…

Maybe you got a surprisingly inappropriate pop up…

Maybe you needed to use his laptop or phone and found inappropriate links in his browsing history…

Whether you have a young boy or a full-fledged teenager, the specifics of how it happened don’t really matter now. As you continue reading, you’ll learn what to do after you’ve caught your son looking at porn.

1. Don’t Be Surprised

The number one thing is that you can’t be surprised that your son got curious about porn. 90% of kids aged 8 to 16 have seen porn at least once, whether accidentally or on purpose.

90 percent! That’s a ton.

11 years-old is the average age that most kids are first exposed to porn. Boys aged 12 to 17 are perhaps the largest demographic of porn users in the world.

I’ve cited these porn statistics so many times for reason…

When it comes to porn, it’s not if it will become an issue, but when.

If you’re not actively preventing your kids from accessing porn, then it WILL happen. This is even truer when you’re raising a boy.

2. Be Realistic With Him

Now that you’ve gotten over the shock of catching your son, it’s time to consider how you’re going to handle it.

What are you going to say to him?

What are you going to do?

These next few tips will help you figure out the answer to those questions.

Through everything though, you need to be realistic and practical with your son. Avoid generic answers at all costs. Don’t overstate the seriousness of what he’s done just to scare him out of doing it, but at the same time, don’t understate the consequences of looking at porn.

Which brings us to…

3. Be Honest About Your Experiences

Son and dad on ipod

Photo courtesy of moodboard @ Flickr

If you have any real-life experience with either yourself or someone you know getting caught up in a porn problem, then be honest about it. Open up about the pain that porn has caused in your own life.

On the other hand, if you don’t have any experience with foreign in your own life, be honest about that too… Let your son know that this is something you’re figuring out right along with him, but that above all you want him to grow up into a good man.

If you currently look at porn, well, that’s another post entirely. But you can’t really expect your son not to look at porn unless you do the same, right?

4. Don’t Punish; Do Expect Change

Wait, so you should NOT punish your son for looking at porn?

What?!

This might cause some dropped jaws for some of you disciplinarians, but I really think this is the right approach:

  • Do NOT punish your son for looking at porn.
  • DO expect him to stop looking at it.

I know lots of parents who’ve punished their son by taking away his computer or phone after discovering that he’d used them to look at porn.

All this punishment does is force your son to be sneaky about getting online, which encourages even more bad habits.

Even if your son doesn’t find a way around your punishment, the resentment will distract him from the real issue – your son needs to know that looking at porn is wrong, not just against the rules.

This is important…

It needs to be your son’s decision not to look at porn.

As long as it’s something that he wants to do, you will continue to have problems in your home.

5. Explain Real-Life Consequences…

Photo courtesy of Nicki Varkevisser @ Flickr

Photo courtesy of Nicki Varkevisser @ Flickr

Not just the rule-breaking ones.

Most porn-viewing boys are old enough to recognize that looking at this stuff is wrong. Usually it’s not something that they “want” to do…

They just had a moment of weakness, as all of us do at some point. Or maybe they had several moments of weakness.

Still, even if your son knows he shouldn’t look at porn, make sure he knows the real-life consequences for giving into temptation.

I actually have an entire blog post about how porn ruins teenage years (coming soon!).

A few other quick points you could make to him are:

Each link takes you to further reading on the subject, so you’ll have plenty to talk to your son about. And if for some reason he needs even MORE reasons to quit, just have him read through this exhaustive list of 101 porn side effects.

6. If It Was On Your Home Computer,
It’s Your Fault

Did your son access porn on a computer inside your home?

Then guess what?

  • It’s your fault for not installing Internet accountability software ahead of time, and…
  • It’s your fault for not talking to him about porn before he decided to find out for himself.

Going back to the statistics at the beginning of this post, we see that it really is inevitable that your son will try and look at porn. If you don’t take preventative measures, then he can’t be at fault for doing what all today’s boys eventually do.

Fortunately, there are things you can do now.

  1. Setup Internet accountability software. I like Covenant Eyes because it has the best reports and can be installed on all computers, phones and tablets with their $13.99/month family plan.
  2. Talk to your son about pornography and why it’s a bad habit to get into.
  3. If you have younger kids too, start talking about Internet safety now. Don’t wait until it becomes a problem to do something about it.

If you’d like more information, I offer a great free eBook called The Modern Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety. Just click the link, tell me where to send it, and you’ll have it in your email in minutes.

Either way, if you learned something from this guide, please share it to help other parents facing the same problem as you. Trust me, there are a lot!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Anonymous - a few months ago

I looked up “i found porn in my child’s browser history”. In this case “child” refers to my daughter. Also, “porn” would be less PornHub, not even quite Playboy, more like “TheChive” kind of stuff.

I hate that looking up “child watching porn” inevitably directs me to “son”. I even changed child to daughter. Same result, more or less.

I get that the stats show that more are male (though 1 in 3 are female), but I am astonished that there is so much more about a son watching porn than a daughter.

Why? Because parents ASSUME that a male is more likely to be sexual than a female, so they only check their son’s. This is not only bad for the son who gets caught, it is also perhaps even more harmful to the daughter who continues to watch porn unknown to her parents, and who also thinks that it is not normal because of her gender.

I believe that if women are to be treated equally in society, we, as parents, MUST treat out sons and daughters the same, not favoring one or the other. This is CRITICAL to gender equality.

–Anonymous Parent

Reply
    Stephen - a couple of months ago

    Thank you so much for sharing this crucial opinion. You make a very good point here, and although I don’t know when I will have a chance to properly amend this post to include information for both daughter and sone, I will keep that in mind as I look at writing a book for people wishing to gain control over their porn habit and inevitably include advice for parents. Thank you and good luck with your daughter… Feel free to share any tips you have either here or privately via email.

    Reply

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