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My Son & Pornography – Guilty or Innocent?

Questioner

W (37-female-US)

Reply Date

Nov 23, 2017

Question

We have caught our son with (porno) magazines that he says he took from grandpa's house, then we find out he was playing house with our niece and they were both under blankets naked. He always tells me "I don't know why I did it" or "I just wanted to see". We have explained everything to him from how wrong his actions were to questioning if anyone has done this to him - we only got a blank expression and no answers. This was four years ago now he is eight. I had the Internet set up so he could play games online, I have put restrictions and I have added software to report weekly what he has been doing online. On the report that was recently sent to me, he somehow made it past all these restrictions and went on pornographic sites, I asked him why and he said his friends were talking about it and told him what web sites to go to. I even found the paper with the names of the different websites. His answer was the same, "I just wanted to see and I don't know why should I be worried?" Punishment? Thank you in advance.

Counselor

Answer


son

In this counseling answer:

“You might want to try focusing on communication with your child and check in with him to see what he knows or understands about this issue. Try not to preach but merely find out what he knows and thinks. It’s not enough just to lecture a child and then that’s it – problem solved. If he has already been exposed to these kinds of behaviors, you might be fighting his curiosity now, along with the encouragement of his peers.”


 

As salamu ‘alaykum,

“We have explained everything to him from how wrong his actions were to questioning if anyone has done this to him and we got a blank expression and no answers…”

I am curious as to what you have explained and if you have asked him if he understands what you are telling him.

Does he understand why pornography is wrong?

The blank answers would lead me to believe that he doesn’t really understand. It is difficult to say of course from the little bit of information you have provided, but I think it is fair to say that this should be an issue of concern to you. You might want to try focusing on communication with your child and check in with him to see what he knows or understands about this issue. Try not to preach but merely find out what he knows and thinks. It’s not enough just to lecture a child and then that’s it – problem solved. If he has already been exposed to these kinds of behaviors, you might be fighting his curiosity now, along with the encouragement of his peers.

Try not to preach but merely find out what he knows and thinks. It’s not enough just to lecture a child and then that’s it – problem solved. If he has already been exposed to these kinds of behaviors, you might be fighting his curiosity now, along with the encouragement of his peers.

There has to be a combination of education and understanding coupled with a strict zero tolerance of acceptance of  pornography. The message has to be sent to him – in addition to the education – that pornography is not allowed. Take away the computer to help him understand the gravity of the situation perhaps, or disallow him to see his friends. There has to be a clear message sent and it has to be now while he is young. But make sure you emphasize the balance of both understanding and boundaries/punishment. You want him to internalize the reasons for not doing it, not merely avoid doing it because you tell him to.

Other factors you have to consider are his friends – what kind of kids is he spending time with? He claims that he got the information about the porn sites from his friends. You have to have a very good read on your child’s life and what’s going on inside him as well. A balance of education, firm boundaries, discipline, and awareness are needed not only in this situation, but at all times in a child’s life.

We cannot take an interest in what our children are doing only after we discover them engaging in behaviors that we don’t like. We should be making a sincere effort at all times to be in-tune with our children and what is going in their lives.

Children are not mere objects. They are human beings and are more capable and perceptive than most adults give them credit for. Let this incident be a reminder to us all of the need to be in tuned and aware of all aspects of our children’s lives.


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 




About Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah

Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Study’s Community Education and Youth Studies Laboratory, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He received his B.A. from the University of Delaware (U.S.), his M.S. from Columbia University (U.S.) and his PhD from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies (PEKKA), Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2005 in the field of Youth Studies. Abd. Lateef is an American who has been living in Malaysia since 2001. He is married and has 2 children.

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