By Dan Garner, LMHCA
(For Part 1 Click Here)
Tips and Tricks
Here is some insider information that I have picked up from working with teens and adults with pornography addiction. You will be amazed at where and how kids can get ahold of pornography and it shifts and develops everyday. Because of this, I would advise you to take this information as general warning and not assume that your kids are doing any of these things. If you start hunting around like a blood hound for every loose end you’re likely to just drive yourself and your kids crazy. Just take this in and let it inform you so that you can keep your eyes open in ways that you may not have considered before. None of the information provided in any of these articles should be used to shame, humiliate, demean or punish your kids. This information is given with the intent of fostering open, compassionate communication about what is going in their lives.
Apps (Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc.) - This may not seem like super insider information but beware. The list of questionable apps grows longer everyday. I’ve talked to kids who have managed to get to pornography through GoogleEarth (I’ve asked them to explain it and it still doesn’t quite make sense to me). This is another reason to lock down your kids’ ability to download there own apps. Apps that appear perfectly innocent can grant secret access. Of course, you aren’t going to be able to know about every secret access point but neither will your kids. We will talk a bit more about how to manage the unknown dangers in a second. Again, this is not giving you permission to get paranoid and start seeing danger everywhere but you should be aware of this so that you can talk openly and constructively with your kids about safety on their devices.
Game systems - It may surprise many of you to hear that you can access the internet through game consoles such as Xbox, Wii, Nintendo DS, Play Station etc. It may surprise you even more that you can get to pornography through these system. In fact, I’m finding in my private practice with teens and adults struggling with pornography and sex addiction that this is becoming a preferred method of obtaining pornography. This is due to the fact that usually these devices are much more private and appear to be harmless. You will want to check up on these systems to find out if you have access to browsing history and encourage open communication about internet use on these devices.
Checking in - One of the most effective interventions that parents have when it comes to protecting their kids is to institute a nightly check in of all devices/“screens.” All devices should be stored and charged in the parent’s room at night and given back in the morning. This not only eliminates late night temptations to go cruising for curious content but also prevents late night texting conversations which are disruptive and unhelpful. Lastly, it also sets the stage for instituting random checks…
Random checks - As the parents in the home and as the one’s that generally pay for the devices, phone plans and internet connections you maintain the right to peruse anybody’s device at anytime. This does not need to be anything that kids are part of. Simply letting them know that at anytime (night time after devices are “checked in” is ideal) you may or may not be looking through apps and histories in order to ensure that these services (devices and connections) are not becoming a problem for anyone is enough to keep kids on their toes. If anything is found, this is a great opportunity to sit down and have a compassionate heart to heart with you child and start setting up a plan to help them stay safe from harmful content. It is never appropriate to use this information to shame or humiliate.
This is a topic that I will continue to update in the future. As more tips and tricks come to my attention I will be sure to bring them to your attention. Also, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free 15 minutes consultation.
-In Tri-Cities, WA
Keywords: Pornography Addiction, Porn Addiction, Sex Addiction, Web Filters, Family