Teen Porn: Where Are Your Teens Are Surfing Online?

During National Cyber Security Awareness Month there are many topics to be discussed, and one of the most fast-paced issue is porn and how it lands on your teens screens.

In the past, pornography was mainly limited to artwork, magazines and the red-light districts. With the Internet and cable television, however, pornography has now made its way into our family rooms, home offices, teens cell phones and kids’ bedrooms. It is easily – and often inadvertently — accessible by children and teenagers, and parents must work even harder to prevent their children from becoming addicted to it.

Experts at the Jacob Wetterling Foundation developed the following tips to help parents prevent their children from becoming addicted to pornography:

  • Place home computers in a central area of the house, not a child’s bedroom or secluded area. Make surfing the Internet a family experience.
  • Talk with your children about what they can and cannot do online, while trying to understand their needs, interests and curiosity.
  • Know your child’s password and screen names; they may have more than one.
  • Set reasonable time limits on computer use, and ensure that your children adhere to the limitations.
  • You should also realize that children may be accessing the Internet from outside the home, such as friend’s homes, work, libraries and school.
  • Be open with your children and encourage them to come to you if they encounter a problem online.
  • Explore filtering and blocking software, which is used to sort information on the Internet and classify it according to content. A major drawback is that some filtering may block innocent sites, while many “negative” sites still get past the filters. Though these programs can be great assets, parents still need to maintain open communication with their children to inform and protect them.

The best cure for addiction is prevention. Many parents may suspect their children of being sexually addicted, but may not be sure of the warning signs. Victor Cline, Ph.D., an expert on pornography and its effects, encourages parents to be on the lookout for the following symptoms of sexual addiction:

  • A pattern of out-of-control sexual behavior
  • Experiencing severe consequences due to sexual behavior, and an inability to stop despite these adverse consequences
  • Persistent pursuit of self-destructive behavior
  • Ongoing desire or effort to limit sexual behavior
  • Sexual obsession and fantasy as a primary coping strategy
  • Regularly increasing the amount of sexual experience because the current level of activity is no longer satisfying
  • Severe mood changes related to sexual activity
  • Inordinate amounts of time spent obtaining sex, being sexual and/or recovering from sexual experiences
  • Neglect of important social, occupational or recreational activities because of sexual behavior

Being an educated parent will help you have safer teens both online and off.

Learn more about protecting your children from online porn, click here.

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