I Caught my Teen Looking at a Porn Site
QUESTION: I caught my thirteen-year-old son looking at porn sites on the Internet. He completely denied it. We do not have access to the net in our home. At the time we were visiting his future stepfather. Although I am aware that my son's behavior is probably normal and it is most likely not the first time, how should I handle this?
ANSWER: This is not an issue of "normalcy" but of guidance. A focus on his behavior as normal may lead you to ignore, rather than influence, your son's development at this critical juncture.
Your son depends on you to care and to act in his best interests. Acknowledge his ability to act independently and secretly, but tell him you do not want him to engage in viewing pornography. Be willing to take action to help prevent illegal and inappropriate viewing. Talk with your son's future stepfather to block these sites from use by children and consider talking with the parents of your son's friends who have internet access. Discuss whether these sites should be blocked and let your son know why you are doing so. But do not stop there.
Gayle Peterson, MSSW, LCSW, PhD is a family therapist specializing in prenatal and family development. She trains professionals in her prenatal counseling model and is the author of An Easier Childbirth, Birthing Normally and her latest book, Making Healthy Families. Her articles on family relationships appear in professional journals and she is an oft-quoted expert in popular magazines such as Woman's Day, Mothering and Parenting. She is a clinical member of The Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and a Diplomate with the National Association of Social Work. She also serves on the advisory board for Fit Pregnancy Magazine.
Dr. Gayle Peterson has written family columns for ParentsPlace.com, igrandparents.com, the Bay Area's Parents Press newspaper and the Sierra Foothill's Family Post. She has also hosted a live radio show, "Ask Dr. Gayle" on www.ivillage.com, answering questions on family relationships and parenting. Dr. Peterson has appeared on numerous radio and television interviews including Canadian broadcast as a family and communications expert in the twelve part documentary "Baby's Best Chance". She is former clinical director of the Holistic Health Program at John F. Kennedy University in Northern California and adjunct faculty at the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco. A national public speaker on women's issues and family development, Gayle Peterson practices psychotherapy in Oakland, California and Nevada City, California. She also offers an online certification training program in Prenatal Counseling and Birth Hypnosis. Gayle and is a wife, mother of two adult children and a proud grandmother of three lively boys and one sparkling granddaughter.
Copyright 1996-2003. Gayle Peterson All rights reserved.