Responding to a Child's Pornography Use
Parents may wonder how best to respond upon learning that a son or daughter is involved with pornography. The following suggestions may be helpful:
- Avoid responding with shock or anger. Instead, be genuinely concerned and talk with the child in a respectful way.
- Express your love and your desire for your child to have a happy, successful life.
- Ask how the problem began, how long it has been going on, and how extensively the child is involved with pornography.
- Find out how the child feels about his or her involvement and whether he or she plans to continue that involvement.
- Avoid preaching, threatening, or condemning. Rather, appeal to your child's better judgment. Admonish him or her “with all the feeling of a tender parent” to listen to your counsel (see 1 Nephi 8:37).
- Teach your child about the dangers of pornography—how it distorts sexuality, causes users to view others as sexual objects, leads to various forms of immorality, and addicts its users.
- Share your concern that involvement in pornography can jeopardize your child's future happiness and eternal well-being and cause spiritual death and eternal disappointment.
- Encourage your child to talk with the bishop and to get professional help if needed.
- Provide help and encouragement as the child strives to overcome the problem.
- Once the problem has been brought into the open, keep the lines of communication open. Sexual transgressions thrive in secrecy but are less likely to recur when talked about in a sensitive, caring way.