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3 Tips for Talking to Your Teen about Porn

The best time to talk to your teen about sex is before you think there is a problem. While you might not relish the thought of talking with your teen about sex, you can be sure that your teen is getting his information about sex from somewhere. Teens are curious about sex. They have questions. If he isn’t getting information about sex from you, he might be getting misinformation from friends, or worse, from porn.

#1. Talk to your teen.

Talk to your teen about sex. Even if you don’t think that your teen has a problem with porn or sexual behavior, talk about sex. The conversations that you have with your teen could be one of the best ways to stop a problem from developing. Teach your teen about consent and appropriate boundaries. And don’t just talk. Listen to what your teen and what he has to say (or ask) about sex.  Don’t assume they understand or know the proper terms. Teach them the appropriate terms for things, and avoid using slang or nicknames for body parts. This conversation is an ongoing process, which allows candid conversations to talk about age appropriate things they have questions about regarding sex.

#2. Avoid shaming.

If you find evidence that your teen has been viewing pornography, confirm that someone else in the house is not responsible before talking to your teen about it. Don’t just confront your teen, start a dialog about sex. Let your teen know what is healthy and appropriate. Often pornography is based on fantasy, and what you can think, you can find. There unfortunately are not limits in the world of pornography, and it continues to grow.  It doesn’t mean it is an accurate or healthy view of sexual intimacy, yet most teens take it for face value of what is “normal.”

 

Try to talk to your teen without shaming him. The shame involved with pornography addiction often makes teens more unwilling to seek help. While you should make an effort not to condemn or preach to your teen, there is nothing wrong with openly communicating your values and expectations about porn use. Let them know that having sexual feelings or being curious about sex is normal. Try to create an open and candid conversation allowing them to ask questions about what they viewed. Try to take a non-reactive listening approach, and help educate them on what is healthy versus not healthy. This conversation can be an opportunity for teaching them what a healthy sexual relationship really can be like, verus what social media or pornography may teach them.

#3. Get help.

Take evidence of porn or sexual addiction seriously. The things you know are likely just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If your teen has a serious problem with pornography or sex addiction, it’s important to know when to ask for help. Start by looking for counselor who is trained in dealing with sexual behavior problems in your community first. If your teen is dealing with issues that are more severe that you can deal with in your home, consider a residential treatment center. You can also better assess using our Sex Addiction Screening Test for Teens (T-SAST).  

 

Residential treatment centers work by taking teens away from their normal environment and providing teens with an environment built to enable their recovery. Oxbow Academy offers a 90-evaluation that will help your family to determine the kind of help that your teen needs.

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