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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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What is the best way to handle your child (10yrs.) after he

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What is the best way to handle your child (10yrs.) after he accessed (we believe purposely) inappropriate video (s) online?

Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.

Your question is one that so many parents are having to face today and it is very difficult to know how to handle this situation effectively. The most important factor is what the general situation is with your son: is he doing well in school?

Is he well behaved otherwise? Does he have a lot of friends?

On the other hand, is this part of a pattern of behavior on his part that "pushes the boundaries? Meaning, does he tend to not listen and to seek things he shouldn't?

Are there other areas he's having trouble in?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Dr. Mark, Thanks for the quick response. I reference to your questions. He is an excellent sstudent, has plenty of friends and doesn't really push his boundaries. I believe his body is startin to go thru the early stages of puberty and that he's mostly curious. We haven't confonted him and saw it on his history so I'm not sure if he came across it by accident. in any event he was exposed to a rather graphic video and I don't know the best conversation and level of detail to take. Thanks,

Thank you for the replies to the questions and the added information. It helps a lot in understanding what the situation is. I believe I can now be of help with this issue.

I can indeed imagine how daunting this situation must be for you. You are clearly a loving and caring parent and he's lucky to have you there. And he's a good kid and that's also such a wonderful advantage here.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. Today, pornography is such a pervasive part of our society. I just read a report of a study conducted with young adults in their 20s that reports that 74% of them have watched pornography as part of their growing up. And the majority report that this has hampered their having a close personal relationship with the other sex and forming a lasting relationship. The study was talking about viewing pornography as teens and up, which is not your son's situation. I haven't seen the study itself to know how sound it is, but even if the numbers are not accurate, we can see that you can't just approach the situation in a simple way of telling your son pornography is awful and he should never do this again and it will ruin his life. This approach clearly didn't work with the majority of kids who are now young adults and it will not work with kids today as well.

Instead, you have to approach the viewing of pornography from within your family values. In other words:

That our family lives by beliefs that we hold to be true and important. They are what keep us together and a loving family. There are a number of things that people do out there that we know they think is fine and that are legal and that they want to do so they do it. But we know that those things are not what make us good people and a strong family and loving, caring people.

One of these things is watching other people in sexual situations. Because this takes away the specialness of the relationship between people that sexual activity is able to do. Sexual activity is something that can make people love each other. But it is something that can become cheapened and pornography can take the love out of it. That's not what we believe in.

This is the outline, then, of what you are seeking to convey to him. Again, you are not trying to portray it as intrinsically wrong, that it's just wrong and that's it. Because he's going to face too many forces out there in the coming years that will tell him otherwise. You are instead telling him that sex can be part of love or it can cheapen love. And your family believes in strengthening love and caring for the people you love.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks very much ... I agree with that direction. Last thing - should (do you reccomend) there be a punishment?
No. I really urge you not to at this time. This is because you've expressed feeling like he's a good kid and not seeking trouble. Therefore, there's plenty of time for punishment. Start out with guiding him in the direction you want and give that a chance to either succeed or fail. Okay?

All the very best to you,

Dr. Mark