Help! My Child Is Looking at Porn
Porn: That’s a scary word for most parents. We’ve all heard stories of how porn rips marriages apart and destroys families.
But let me tell you–it’s even more frightening when you discover your child is looking at porn online.
Horrified. Terrified. Repulsed. Feelings of failure as a parent. These are just a few of the emotions I felt when my husband and I discovered that our child had seen porn.
The real issue is that very, very few people are talking about this.
And unfortunately, there are millions and millions of good parents–even Christian parents who’ve taught their kids right from wrong–who now are left feeling alone, helpless and frightened when they’ve discovered their kids were looking at porn.
I’m writing this post because I want to break the silence and give practical advice for what to do if you discover that your child has viewed porn.
Most of all, I want you to know that you’re not alone and that there is hope.
If you’ve discovered that your child has seen sexual images online or any form of pornography, I want to give you some powerful advice and answers, specifically:
- What to say to your child who has seen pornography
- How to protect your child from seeing porn again
- How to process the emotions you feel as a parent after a child has seen porn
Plus, I want to let you know a free e-book that I’ve found incredibly helpful.
Even if you don’t have a child who has seen porn, I would highly, highly recommend that you download this FREE resource from Covenant Eyes.
GET THE FREE E-BOOK HERE.
What to Say to Your Child Who Has Seen Pornography
If your child has seen porn, the first and most important piece of advice I can give is to remain calm and to not panic.
I know this is hard! I know your heart may be in a thousand places! Stories of others who have had their lives ruined by porn may be echoing in your ears right now. Fears for what your child may have had burned into his/her innocent mind may make you want to cry out in agony as a mom.
It’s normal to be incredibly angry and scared for your child, but this is the time for grace-filled, honest conversations, not judgement or shame.
Even though what your child has done is wrong, please, I encourage you to walk that very careful line between sharing the truth about the child’s sin and still keeping their heart open and attentive to your words.
That’s why you desperately need God to give you the words to say to your child! Pray for both His conviction and His unconditional love to flow through you via the Holy Spirit as you speak to your child. Pray mightily before you speak!
Yes, your child needs to know the truth about porn, but more than anything, they need to understand the power of confession, of forgiveness, of purification and of hope in Christ. There is nothing “too bad” or “too dark” that He can’t conquer!
The free When Your Child Is Looking At Porn e-book has lots of incredibly good advice about how to talk to your kids after they’ve seen pornography. I found it quite helpful and comforting.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE E-BOOK HERE.
When Your Child Is Looking At Porn has biblical advice on how to broach the topic, tips on what to say, and it even preps you mentally for what you need to know before you have the conversations (because, yes, there probably will be more than one talk about this).
I can’t recommend this free resource highly enough!
How to Protect Your Child From Seeing Porn Again
Yes, your child has seen porn. That’s tragic and difficult to accept.
But now is the time for action and change. It’s critically important that you find out how they accessed the sexually explicit material and put systems in place to prevent them from doing it again.
Covenant Eyes is the Christian internet filter and accountability system that our family has used for years. We’ve looked around at lots of options, and truly, they have the most comprehensive set-up we’ve found.
I really like using Covenant Eyes because, while no filter is foolproof, I know that Covenant Eyes has an especially effective filter (and it’s one where you can set different parameters for each member of your home).
However, my favorite part of Covenant Eyes is the accountability system. I get an email every single week that details my kids’ online usage, including any flagged events when the filter was triggered. My husband and I also get a report of each other’s online access too, just to keep us accountable.
P.S. If you’re wondering how our child was able to access porn if we had Covenant Eyes’ internet protection in place, the answer is that he found a device in our home that was unprotected. This is why it is important to have protection on all of our devices, even the ones that are “out of use”!
Go here to learn more about Covenant Eyes’ filtering and accountability, even on mobile devices.
Your whole family needs this protection!
And of course, I would highly recommend that you regularly pray for your child regarding this issue, first, for total healing for your child’s mind; and second, for a removal of the desire to see more porn.
How to Process Your Emotions After Your Child Has Seen Porn
Once you’ve set up internet filtering and accountability in your home (and begun conversations with your kids about their exposure to pornography), it’s easy to want to sweep the porn issue under the rug and not talk about it again.
After all, porn is a painful, difficult and even embarrassing topic to think about.
But what I found is that I was also flooded with emotions after my child had seen porn. I was deeply troubled and had to get some truths correct in my head (because the enemy was quick to fill my heart with condemnation and shame too).
For me, it’s been a two-step process, all done with God in prayer. I want to share those two steps with you now too so that you have a framework for how to deal with your emotions too.
#1 Get out your emotions.
First, I just poured out my anger, my sadness, my hurt, my disgust–every feeling I had about the situation–to God. I literally cried tear after tear over the frustration I felt over my child’s actions.
Friend, I would encourage you to do the same. Keep going back to Him, sharing it all until the pain has been let out like infection from a wound.
#2 Let God’s loving grace heal the hurts.
Next, I spent time listening. I spent time being quiet before Jesus and literally remembering what was true about every single human:
- We all have fallen short and aren’t perfect. (1 John 3:4) We live in a fallen world full of temptation.
- There is no sin that is “worse” than another. All sin is like filthy rags to God, and if we are guilty of one sin, we are guilty of breaking all of God’s law. (1 John 3:4)
- Therefore, I am just as guilty before God as my child is for his/her actions.
- BUT there is complete and total forgiveness for any sin, no matter how difficult or ugly. (Acts 10:43, Hebrews 10:22)
- God uses our mistakes as powerful testimonies to His restoration and miraculous healing. While the sin of viewing pornography does grieve God, we can redeem the pain by allowing Him to heal us and then choosing to walk differently. Our testimony changes others and turns them toward God. (2 Cor 1:3-7).
It gave me great comfort to know that God could redeem this tragedy for my child and even bring us a closer parent-child relationship because of it.
#3 Let God speak His truth over you.
Then, I let God share more truths with me (specifically those about my role as a mom):
- My child is completely responsible for his choices. Even if I were to raise him in a “perfect” environment (which doesn’t exist, by the way), he is responsible for what he choose to participate in. As a parent, I have the responsibility to teach and guide, but the ultimate decision as to whether or not to follow is in my child’s hands.
- There are some things in this world that I won’t be able to fully shield my child from, despite my best efforts to raise them to be grounded in solid Christian truths. That’s where I have to let God take over. I have to trust that He guides their steps. I have to trust that my prayers and years of pouring God’s Word into their hearts is enough to prepare them for the evils of this world.
- And lastly, God reminded me that there is always, always hope. There’s always a chance for redemption. Christ’s resurrection proved that God has the power to heal any hurt and transform any life. I have already seen evidence of this in my child’s heart. He is beginning the process to healing and it’s beautiful to watch!
Let him speak those specific truths you need to hear too. Just like God longs to heal and restore your child from the effects of porn, He wants to heal your heart too!
Recommended Next Steps
Friend, we’ve talked about a lot here. And I know there’s a lot more that needs to be said that just won’t fit into the confines of a blog post.
That’s why I would highly suggest you download the free When Your Child Is Looking at Porn e-book and begin processing it, preferably with your spouse (or a trusted friend if you are single).
You need to get more godly counsel on your next steps, and this is a great free resource.
Then, be sure your family is protected in the future by setting up internet filtering and accountability through Covenant Eyes. At $14.99 a month, it’s a no-brainer investment that will pay huge dividends in protecting your family’s purity.
GO HERE to sign up for Covenant Eyes.
Friend, I’m praying for you as you walk this scary road! It is not easy, but even in this difficult issue there is healing. Our kids can find hope if they’ve seen pornography and we can help guide them to that restoration!
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