If you should find that your child has been exposed to online pornography, it would be natural for you as a parent to wonder if you need to seek professional help for your child. Initially, it will be important to ascertain the severity of the pornographic content your child viewed. Were the images seen limited to images of body parts? Did they include graphic sexual acts, violence, or bestiality? Did the child later imitate aspects of what he or she saw on another sibling or child?
Oftentimes, the decision to seek outside professional help is made on a case-by-case basis and depends on the child’s age. For example, if your teenage child accidentally stumbled upon pornographic images and had an open discussion about what was seen with you, then chances are you may determine that you do not necessarily need to seek help for your child. However, if a child is clearly traumatized by the images viewed online, regularly views pornography, or later “acts out” against another child; you will want to consider seeking the help of a trained therapist.
The key is not to overreact or shame your child; rather, create an open and loving environment where you and your child can openly discuss what has been seen. Then, you will be able to better determine the appropriate course of action.
Regardless of what was viewed, the goal is to help heal your child and relieve any suffering he or she may be experiencing—not to punish your child.
For more information about the harms of pornography and how you can get involved in efforts to combat the spread of illegal adult pornography, please visit our partner site, www.pornharms.com.
TO REPORT CHILD PORNOGRAPHY: www.cybertipline.com
Enough Is Enough®? is pleased to offer a variety of secular and faith-based resources including suggested readings, audio and videotapes, CDs, and Internet resources to those searching for healing from the harms of pornography, sexual addiction, and sexual abuse. For more information, please visit our victim’s resources.
Focus on Family: To speak with a licensed counselor, call 1-800-A-FAMILY Mon-Fri 6:00 a.m - 8:00 p.m. MST. Counselor referrals are available. Due to high call volumes they may request your contact information and return your call.