Monica* discovered her teen son, Ty*, was viewing pornography on their home computer by accident—his accident. He had been exploring porn sites for some time; he just knew how to cover his tracks. One day, however, he forgot to clear the computer’s history. When she questioned Ty, he first blamed his older brother. After more questioning, however, he confessed. It all began when, as a curious 15-year-old,
he clicked on one of the ads that was running on his MySpace account. One site led to another.
Monica had a MySpace account too. “I had a MySpace so I could monitor his friends,” she says wryly. She had never even considered clicking on the questionable ads offered by the site. They held no interest for her. So why would he? (We think so much differently than our teen sons, moms!)
Her reaction to her son’s attraction to porn was what it might be for a lot of us moms. “My thought was, wow…gross,” she admits. A few weeks after being found out, Ty went on a youth trip to a Christian conference. He came home renewed spiritually and on fire for God.
“At that point, I really thought he was okay,” Monica says. “He had been working as a life guard, but he immediately quit after the conference. It was a proud 'mom moment' for me because he had realized--on his own--he needed to remove himself from that situation. But even at this point, I was oblivious to the severity of his problem. I had no idea he was addicted.”
As time went on, Ty would confess to his parents how deeply entrenched his problem with pornography really was. Confession after confession would reveal that it was an ongoing problem for him. For Monica and her husband, trying to help Ty with his struggle has not been easy.
At Ty's request, Monica put a filter on the computer. “After a few months of aggravation with passwords as well as Internet slowdown, I asked Ty if he thought he would be okay without the filter. He said, Sure, no problem. We removed it, and that was a HUGE mistake. He was not okay. I still had no clue that porn could be as addictive as drugs or alcohol! I was, and really still am, so in the dark.”
Today, installing a filter is the number one piece of advice Monica gives mothers of sons. “Always have filters!” she urges. “Even if the computer is in the same room as you. And do it early!” Her next piece of advice? “Don’t take I’m fine as an answer.”
Three years later, Ty has a team of godly mentors in place for accountability. Recently, one of his mentors called him on a relapse. The mentor recognized the signs of a setback, and he was able to discern that Ty had fallen once again into the snares of porn.
Monica explains, “I caught my son with a girl from his youth group. They were “just” kissing, but they had no previous relationship at all. When I was talking with one of his mentors a few days later, he made me realize this was a huge thing. Since then, my son has confessed to being a porn addict and a predator in the sense that he KNEW he would be able to get something from that girl.”
This isn't the life Ty wants. And like any mom, Monica sees her son for not only who he is, but who he can be. "He'll always be my little boy," she says. Monica wishes that she had known she needed to have the pornography talk with her son. She shares her story with Mom Seriously readers today in the hopes that something good will come out of her family's situation. If just one mom takes the time today to sit down and talk to her boy about porn, then Monica (and I) will believe this post was worth it. :)
*Names have been changed.
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