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Just Discovered my 9 year old son was looking at Porn on our computer

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

How do I punish I don't know what to say. My sister sent us her old mac for my son a few years ago, I made the mistake of placing the computer in his room this year since he is in a 4th grade school program embraces technology. Well he heard me walking down the hall this am to fetch him for school and I found him standing in of the computer he had the computer on sleep mode (macs have a sleep mode button) almost like he new he was looking at something inappropriate but didn't want me to know. I didn't think anything about it because i have educated him to hit the sleep mode button when our old 2003 mac aka: snow white, needs an energy rest.

 

Well when I returned from dropping him off from school I went into his room moved the mouse and found opened porn site pages.

 

I don't know if he just accidentally came across this stuff or what? His class assignment this week was to type a story. The title of his story is donkey women, I wonder if he typed that title into the Internet and porn sites flooded the computer.  Or is he really looking up porn, this is the first occurrence.

 

This afternoon I took snow white out of his room and now the computer is in my room. When I pick him up from school I have decided not to talk to him at all and see if he notices that the computer is gone when we get home. I realize now that it was stupid of me to put a computer in his room.  I don't know how to handle this situation and do not know what the appropriate punishment is. When he lies or talks back I take away play time with friends, but really don't know how to handle this situation.

Any suggestions?

post #2 of 9

You have to talk to him. You moved the computer. If you don't talk to him, how can he learn? Putting it in your room is both shaming and passive aggressive.

 

"I noticed you seemed kind of uncomfortable when I came into your room this morning, so I looked at the computer. I saw that you had some porn sites up. Do you know what porn is? (Give your definition however you want.) I suspect that was an accident this time, but I want to tell you why porn is not something you should be looking at."

 

Then insert your reasons. Mine would be:

It's OK to be curious, but porn isn't realistic. People who use porn to learn what sex is about have unrealistic expectations for what relationships between men and women are supposed to be like.

Porn degrades women. Women are often portrayed very unrealistically and treated badly in those movies.

Many women and men are coerced into making porn films when they don't really want to.

Sex is supposed to be beautiful and loving, and porn doesn't make it seem like that.

 

Then I'd explain why I moved the computer. Our computer is in the living room for that reason, and it always will be.
 

post #3 of 9

I'm not sure you need a punishment...do you want to punish him if he came across this by accident? I'm not sure I would punish even if it was on purpose. I think he needs conversation and information v punishment.

 

What I would do - first, let him know you observed that he was acting a bit different today when you came into his room so you decided to check his computer when you got home. Explain you found porn and what porn is v sex. What is needed here really depends on how much you have talked about sex to this point. Then ask how he came to that site, with no leading questions. You should be able to tell how he came across it by his computer history. Some of this response really depends on what explanation he gives/what you find the computer history. Let him know it is natural to be curious and hopefully you are open to questions. I would set up some parent controls on the computer as well as put it in a public place.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I just talked to him he said he knew it was bad, he admitted it was not an accident. I told him exactly what was advised in this thread. He told me that kids at school think it is cool. I asked who told him that  and he gave a few names. Not sure what to do at this point, do I go to the teacher? Or what if he is using other kids as a scapegoat. This is a sensitive subject because both my x-husband and my sons grandfather on his dads side both have porn problems. During our custody hearing about 6 years ago I strongly urged the courts to make sure computers are turned off when our son is around grandpa or his dad. I remember his dad telling me how he grew up with his father looking at things on tv and on the computer. I am fearful that this behavior is now repeating itself with my son. I am at a loss for words right now. I decided that he will do his homework for now and am considering taking away playtime for today. So confused, he new something was wrong he was silent in the car the entire way home.
 

post #5 of 9

Yeah, sounds like he knew he was busted.

 

I would not go to the teacher. I mean, I don't think anything productive can come from that. I would find out what the school does to make sure that porn can not be accessed at school. I would also consider some counseling for you on how to deal with this with your son and the possibility of counseling for your son now or in the future...do you suspect he is seeing porn when he is in his dad's custody? Sorry this is happening, that is a scary thing to consider, I'm sure. Also think about guidelines for when he is at a friends house, etc. I would go ahead and tell the parents your son is not allowed to use other peoples computers at all at least, for now.

 

I would urge you to carefully consider that a consequence of punishing your son may be that he does not talk to you about this in the future and that he does more to hide his actions from you knowing that he will be punished.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the advice it got us through the day for now. I do have some options to consider and the guidance has been great.
 

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post

Yeah, sounds like he knew he was busted.

 

I would not go to the teacher. I mean, I don't think anything productive can come from that. I would find out what the school does to make sure that porn can not be accessed at school. I would also consider some counseling for you on how to deal with this with your son and the possibility of counseling for your son now or in the future...do you suspect he is seeing porn when he is in his dad's custody? Sorry this is happening, that is a scary thing to consider, I'm sure. Also think about guidelines for when he is at a friends house, etc. I would go ahead and tell the parents your son is not allowed to use other peoples computers at all at least, for now.

Since the child's school program "embraces technology," I think it would be a good idea to talk with the teacher. Especially since these kids seem to be comparing notes about watching porn. The teacher could send home some information about safe internet use. Not all parents are aware of how easily porn can be accessed by children either accidentally or purposefully. And many kids are savvy enough to change basic safe search settings. Some of these kids may know more about computers than their parents. 

post #8 of 9

My dss, the same age as your son, looked at porn with one of his friends when no-one else was around the house. We found out about it when we looked at the history for something else. We did not get angry about it, because at his age, how can he really understand why people have a problem with porn? We told him that it's ok to be curious about sex, to ask questions and get information about it. But porn is not like real sex, it has frightening things happening in it, and as his parents we need to protect him from seeing that kind of stuff. We told him that if his friend were an adult, we would be calling the police, because it's harmful for kids to watch porn, so it's against the law to show it to them. We repeated that sex is normal, everyone is curious about it, and we have no problem with him being interested in knowing about it. I think the things he saw frightened him, so he seemed to take it seriously and it never happened again. At least not at our house, you never know.

 

We told the parents of the other boy. I think you should consider approaching the parents of the other kids he named, too.

post #9 of 9

How is it going Mtnmumma?

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