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Internet Porn and teenage boys

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
I can't believe I'm posting this here or anywhere, for that matter. I happened upon the history button on my computer tonight and found that my oldest son (13 in Feb) has been viewing pornography on the internet. We have parental controls and he has shut them off when we're away. What's worse is that our computer is in our play room and he's been doing this while babysitting siblings. I asked him about it and he lied, of course. I told him I knew what he was doing and he finally admitted it. You need to know that I am a very conservative person. I don't watch TV unless the kids are sleeping, I don't watch movies, I don't read any mainstream publications or books, there is nothing sexually explicit in our home at all. I have always been very open with him about sex in general and it's place in society. Porn is so disgusting, IMO. I'm home all day with the kids schooling them, playing games with them, reading to them. I feel like such a failure, though. I thought I could trust him and that trust is really quite shattered at this point. He's at my parent's house tonight which is probably good so I can gather myself before I have to talk with him. I just had to vent about this. Thanks for listening.
post #2 of 59
this is not a reflection on what kind of mom you are or what kind of kid he is. he is just a teenage boy with teenage curisoity. I would first see if you can move your computer to a very public place in the house. what parental security do you have on your computer? I have norton and I can set it where only the administrator can change settings. my ds does not even know that there is an adminstrator because I set it to hide that user. he of course does not know the password to use adminstrator even if he found it. as for how to deal with your son about it...maybe explain why you feel porn is bad/innaproperate with out making it about his sexuallity just keeping it general. you could limit his computer usuage to when you are home until you feel that he is being responsible for it. just so you know...the history can be erased, which now that he has been caught by it he will most likely figure out. I can't remember which but either norton or windows xp have a feature where it logs all websites visited and can not be cleared.
post #3 of 59
Thread Starter 
We also have norton and I'm an idiot and didn't know you could set a password. Needless to say that has now been done. Norton has the weblogs that cannot be erased. Our computer is in our most main room, what would be a dining room but is a play room in the front of our house. That's why I put it here. Ugh, parenting babies is so much easier, and fun, than parenting teens.

I have already told him that his feelings/urges/etc are normal. Acting on them in this manner, however, is not. Esp when in charge of younger siblings. Also, he's not even supposed to be on the internet or computer when I'm not home. Anyway, thank you for responding.
post #4 of 59
Actually, acting on his sexual feelings and curiosity by seeking out porn is normal. All teenage kids do it. The internet has just made it easier to get. It is not, however, acceptable to you in your home and possibly in front of your younger children. I'm not conservative about things like you so I don't have any advice or ideas of what to do to keep him from looking at the porn. However, I agree with teachermom that it is not a reflection of your parenting or his character. It's a natural curiosity. It might be better to have your dh talk to him about what you think is acceptable and unacceptable regarding sex and why. Don't despair because there is nothing wrong with your son. On the contrary, this shows that your son is a normal teenage boy.
post #5 of 59
Thread Starter 
After sleeping on it I realized that my upset is not so much from looking at the porn, though it's not the best place to find out about sex, IMO. My real issue is him doing it in broad daylight, in the playroom, while babysitting. That makes me very ill. If a babysitter that I hired (and we do pay him) did that I would so freak out!!! Anyway, thanks again for the support. I am glad that he's normal, :LOL I just wish he was normal in private.
post #6 of 59

I agree

You are right, the issue isn't the porn but the viewing of it with younger children around and while he's babysitting. Although I don't have any boys, I'm sure your son is very normal, he just needs to learn to do these things in private. Best of luck!
post #7 of 59
Maybe he's not ready to babysit yet. If this happened with someone outside the family, or even someone else in your family like a neice or uncle, you would not hire them again because it would be obvious they don't show good judgement of what is and is not appropriate around young children. I think you should react the same way with your older children. Don't "hire" him to babysit again.

I know how easy it is to expect your older children to watch your younger ones while you run out for a quick errand or get some much needed shopping done but 13, especially for boys, is not always as mature as we'd like to think. I would never let my 13yo ds babysit my almost 1yo because I know that he is not emotionally mature enough. I do sometimes ask him to watch the baby for maybe 5-10 minutes while I run to the convenience store for a soda. He usually offers to go to the store for me instead because he doesn't want to babysit even for such a short time.

One thing that came to my mind after reading your original post was how you could be so sure that it was him looking at the porn. But then you said he eventually confessed so I guess this isn't an issue unless he might confess to something he didn't really do because he was backed into a corner.
post #8 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife
Maybe he's not ready to babysit yet. If this happened with someone outside the family, or even someone else in your family like a neice or uncle, you would not hire them again because it would be obvious they don't show good judgement of what is and is not appropriate around young children. I think you should react the same way with your older children. Don't "hire" him to babysit again.

I know how easy it is to expect your older children to watch your younger ones while you run out for a quick errand or get some much needed shopping done but 13, especially for boys, is not always as mature as we'd like to think. I would never let my 13yo ds babysit my almost 1yo because I know that he is not emotionally mature enough. I do sometimes ask him to watch the baby for maybe 5-10 minutes while I run to the convenience store for a soda. He usually offers to go to the store for me instead because he doesn't want to babysit even for such a short time.

.
Ds took the Red Cross Babysitting class two years ago. I didn't really let him babysit until recently. And, no, he won't be hired again anytime soon.

We talked this evening and hashed a few things out. There was no yelling or crying or anything like that. He was punished for lieing, punished for abusing his babysitting privelages but not punished for curiousity. And I know it was him based on the time and date on the computer history.

Thanks again everyone!
post #9 of 59
sorry this is happening! I was just thinking about you today, isn't that weird?

I haven't read all the other responses yet, so maybe I'm repeating, but, I too am a very conservative person when it comes to this stuff.

You need to password protect the parental controls immediately. If he can still bypass them, he must not be allowed to use a computer that has internet access. Period. Not even at thelibrary.

Curiosity about sex is ok, but looking at porn and having sex at his age are not ok (I don't believe porn is ever okay, actually). I would discuss sex with him in a very open way always in the context of religion, marriage and conception. You are a conservative Catholic, right? So you undertand what I'm talking about. Tell him that it is spiritually dangerous to dabble in sexual things like this outside the sacrament of marriage. Tell him that sex is not "dirty" or something to be ashamed of, but that when a woman has sex, she is sharing her soul. Does he want a woman's soul to be used like that? Sex should be a sacred act between husband and wife, in the context of conception. This is the trad. Catholic viewpoint, right?

Others don't have these beliefs, but even though I'm not Catholic, you & I do.
post #10 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekblad7+
Ds took the Red Cross Babysitting class two years ago.
That's good. I can't even get my ds to take the classes.
post #11 of 59
We went through this with our now 15yo DS at that age. Even though it's normal, you have to remember the crap that is out there is not the innocent naked woman stuff that was available when we were growing up. Looking at porn can also become a destructive habit if it's not nipped in the bud. We have strict parental controls on our kids' computers and get reports just about everyday that list what sites they were on and what sites were blocked, etc. There are lots of good programs out there that you can download that will give you even greater control. Good luck!
post #12 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife
That's good. I can't even get my ds to take the classes.

Well, he seemed to learn alot then but I think he needs a refresher. He must have missed the part where they said "don't look at porn on the computer when caring for young children" :LOL Seriously, he liked the classes alot. There was only one other boy in the class but he didn't seem to mind.

I think having the password will help so much (i'm such an idiot to not know that was available before) but I would love to get the reports too. I'll have to check into that.
post #13 of 59
I agree that parenting teens (or even almost teens) is so much harder. The issues just seem to get so much more important. sounds like you are in a better place about this incident. I'm glad. ds and I talk alot about the porn crap that you can find on-line...luckily for me at this point I think he mostly thinks the idea of sex is gross, mostly-not totally. :LOL
post #14 of 59
Being curious about sexuality is normal and healthy for boys this age (and older ).

He should learn of that incident.... that, as others have already said
1) viewing porn in the presence of young children is not acceptable. Make him think of the consequences if he'd been doing that while sitting the neighbours' children?
2) and what I find of crucial importance, that pronography is NOT THE REAL THING. It's not the norm, it's not the avarage person's sexlife. It does not depict the avarage person's body. Pornography is a multi million dollar buisness. It's about making money.....

But there are alternatives to porn. Take an artbook: There are many erotic paintings & sculptures. Themes of legendary lovers, paintings of haremwomen dressed in the lightest of muslin cloth, in a room think with incsent smoke, filled with luxurious cushions & guilded furniture. Stunning female (and male!) nudes.
At the same time, he'll learn to recognise a David or a Dégas

As to the poster that said to tell the boy sex outside marriage was bad for his spirituality......... I don't agree with that. I feel a young person must make experiences. " try before you buy"
Plus the fact that maybe he does not want to follow into his parent's footsteps in that matter when he's adult and living his own life.

All the best!
post #15 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbozmommy
We went through this with our now 15yo DS at that age. Even though it's normal, you have to remember the crap that is out there is not the innocent naked woman stuff that was available when we were growing up. Looking at porn can also become a destructive habit if it's not nipped in the bud. We have strict parental controls on our kids' computers and get reports just about everyday that list what sites they were on and what sites were blocked, etc. There are lots of good programs out there that you can download that will give you even greater control. Good luck!
I was going to make this same point.

I don't have a problem with porn, boys and girls at this age will seek it out. Whether it's a magazine or a racy book. That's normal. And I understand that you were mostly upset about your sons, uh, timing.....

I do have a problem with teenagers seeing some of the stuff that is on the internet! That's not cool.......
post #16 of 59


Quote:
Tell him that sex is not "dirty" or something to be ashamed of, but that when a woman has sex, she is sharing her soul.
Do you mean that a man is not, or is there just some other reason to emphasis a "woman sharing her soul"?

TIA,
Kay
post #17 of 59
I am not exactly sure how to say this but it is crossing my mind when I read this thread- I agree and totally support you on the not while babysitting kids and not in a room they are in. But just exactly how/when if only left alone with temptation when babysitting was he going to try this? Just wondering
post #18 of 59
Thread Starter 
I don't know if I understand your question but he was babysitting a couple of weeks ago and did do this.
post #19 of 59
I guess I'm curious too about this. My kids aren't at this age yet, but I also wonder how to handle this. I agree internet porn use can be a destructive habit and doesn't represent healthy sexuality very well to young kids just learning about sex. OTOH, I also think their seeking it out is normal.

So, how do you help them channel these urges? Do you direct them to racy novels? Permit certain kinds of porn? I'm at a loss. It seems like saying it's just forbidden is a way of denying the reality of their feelings.

How do you AP porn?
post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagomom
How do you AP porn?
The question of the day!!!!!

I want to see this at the top of the main forums page!
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