Teen son ad­dicted to porn

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - askamy@tri­bune.com

Dear Amy: Both my hus­band and I are pro­fes­sion­als. We live in a beau­ti­ful and af­flu­ent part of the coun­try.

We have two sons, ages 14 and 10. Some time ago we dis­cov­ered that our older son had ac­cessed pornog­ra­phy by cre­at­ing a false ac­count on our com­puter. Af­ter con­fess­ing, he seemed con­trite, promised us that he wouldn’t do it again, and we de­cided to give him an­other chance.

A few months later we gave him a smart­phone for his 14th birth­day, but we chose one that didn’t have many bells and whis­tles. We made him sign the con­tract, and ( just for good mea­sure) I asked my younger son to hold on to the locked phone once the boys came home from school.

I found out yes­ter­day that on the days that my younger son was at school for af­ter-school ac­tiv­i­ties, my older son was home watch­ing porn. My hus­band and I are shocked and have no idea where to go.

We are wor­ried that if I en­roll him in a group for porn ad­dic­tion, he will learn other things that we would rather he not be ex­posed to. I am try­ing to find re­search about this but am not get­ting the in­for­ma­tion I am seek­ing. Other than this, my son gets all A’s, plays a sport, reads vo­ra­ciously, and in gen­eral ap­pears to be a re­spon­si­ble kid.

Very Wor­ried Mom

Dear Mom: Your son cre­ated a fake ac­count to view porn at home — and your longer-term re­ac­tion was to give him a smart­phone and have his 10-year-old brother con­fis­cate it af­ter school. Re­ally? Your older son’s choice to re­turn to his habit means it is more than youth­ful cu­rios­ity. You should do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to con­trol his ac­cess (and be alert about your younger son’s In­ter­net us­age).

There is a lot of in­for­ma­tion on the in­crease of teens be­com­ing “ad­dicted” to In­ter­net porn read­ily avail­able, in­clud­ing schol­arly re­search pa­pers pub­lished by the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health. This in­for­ma­tion — like the porn your son con­sumes — is just a click away.

The cur­rent re­search on the im­pact of pornog­ra­phy on the ado­les­cent brain is alarm­ing. Teens who con­sume vi­o­lent porn (the great ma­jor­ity of it in­volves vi­o­lence) are much more likely to en­gage in ag­gres­sive or vi­o­lent sex­ual be­hav­ior — and are far more likely to be­come sex­u­ally ac­tive at an ear­lier age and to have (ob­vi­ously) un­re­al­is­tic views about sex and re­la­tion­ships.

Your fam­ily needs in­ter­ven­tion and pro­fes­sional help and sup­port.

Dear Amy: My grand­daugh­ter, who is get­ting mar­ried, de­cided not to in­vite her two un­cles (my sons) to her wed­ding be­cause she said they weren’t “close.” This has caused chaos in our fam­ily.

Her dad (also my son) feels that his daugh­ter should have the right to in­vite whomever she wishes to her wed­ding, even though he is foot­ing the bill. Who is right?

Up­set Grand­fa­ther

Dear Grand­fa­ther: Your son is right. He is also wrong. Your grand­daugh­ter is right. And wrong.

In­clud­ing the un­cles is the “right” thing to do. How­ever, the sim­ple fact is that if the fa­ther of the bride (and the man pay­ing the bills) wanted his broth­ers to be at this wed­ding, they would be there.

You can­not con­trol any as­pect of this af­fair, so I sug­gest you ac­cept their choice — even if you don’t like it.

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