What to do when you catch your child watching porn

One of the most awkward situations for any parent is catching their child watching porn or finding evidence of it. How you respond is very important, and the worst thing you can do is behave as if nothing has happened.

 

Psychological counsellor Andreas Banetsi Mphunga says it’s better to prevent such situations than to have to deal with them after the fact.

 

“It’s important for parents to start speaking to their children about pornography and underage sexual interactions, and about the dangers they pose to young people,” Mphunga says. “Many parents tend to shy away from the topic, but it’s so necessary.”

 

He says that when children are exposed to pornography, they see it as something “glamorous” that they want to see themselves engaging in, and this is where the danger lies.

 

“They’ll want to practise what they see, and this can often end very badly for them, whether it’s a teenage pregnancy or a situation such as that of the 14-year-old girl who sent a nude video of herself to a man, which subsequently led to the video being leaked on social media,” Mphunga says.

 

If you haven’t had the conversation with your child and you find out that they’ve been watching pornography, it’s important that you don’t shame or dismiss the child, but open a dialogue with your child about why they should not be engaging in such behaviour.

 

“You must sit your child down and explain why they can’t watch what they’re watching until the time is right,” he says.

 

“And don’t shame your child for what they’ve done. Immediately after you’ve caught them, let them know that you need to sit down and talk. Then set a time for when the conversation is going to happen.”

 

At the end of the conversation, it’s important to let your child verbally pledge that they promise not to watch porn until they’re at an age when they can.

 

The danger in failing to address the issue is that it indicates to your child that all is okay and that he or she can continue watching unsuitable material.

 

“If your child knows that you’ve discovered something about their engagement with porn and you didn’t say anything, it normalises it for the child,” Mphunga says. “This is the disadvantage of not saying anything.”

Source – Destinyman

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