Parent Wants to Help Teen Who Struggles With Pornography

The best of intentions.
As parents, how do we deal with an adolescent who may be addicted to hard-core pornography?

We had a big argument the first time we caught him watching porn online; he denied everything. But it happened again a few days later. Since then I’ve seen other signs that indicate he has a problem with pornography addiction. What should we do?


Before we say anything else, we want you to know that you’re not alone.

Sexual addictions of all kinds are widespread. And it’s not just a male problem. It affects men and women, boys and girls, from every age group and all walks of life. It’s also relentless and escalates because it’s rooted in the basic human craving for relationship.

In other words, pornography is powerful because it offers a counterfeit form of intimacy and attachment. Keep that in mind when trying to help a loved one who’s fallen for the lie that depersonalized sex can ultimately satisfy the longings of the human heart.

The good news is that effective help is available.

Practical steps to healing

We urge you to seek professional counseling for your teen, and we strongly recommend that you do this together as a family. The most successful course of treatment takes a family systems approach with intensive therapy followed by regular, ongoing counseling sessions. (Another key to recovery is to identify a trusted friend or group of individuals who will provide your son with support and accountability.)

Not sure where to start? Call our Counseling department for a free over-the-phone consultation. They can give you referrals to qualified therapists in your area who specialize in treating sexual addictions.

Also, if you haven’t already, install some accountability software or sign up with a provider that allows for parental monitoring. That’s not the ultimate answer to the complex challenges you face, of course. But it can play an important role in helping you keep tabs on the entire family’s online use.

Resources for further help

We recommend that your teen look at two articles on our website: “Resisting the Power of Pornography” and “Girls Snared by Porn and Cybersex.” Both are written specifically for teen guys and girls who struggle with pornography.

And you can find more resources below to help your teen find healing and release from pornography addiction.

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