Inyan of Kedusha
Hi. Firstly I wanted to say how happy I was to have found the Guard Your Eyes website. What you are doing is really fantastic. I haven't posted my problem on the forums as it relates to how to deal with my 10 year old son and no posts exist with this type of discussion. If you think it would be useful to put my question on the forum as it may help others please feel free to do so, or let me know and I will do it.
The problem is basically I have recently noticed that my son has started to lie on his front in bed rubbing himself even though he is pre-puberty. Baruch Hashem he is a serious boy who is doing well in school and loves to learn Torah and daven. Compared to other kids of his age he doesn't seem as "street wise", although it is quite possible I am reading the situation wrong and he does in fact know a lot more than he gives away! I dont think he has access to inappropriate material, but I know that anything is possible. I am in my mid-30s married to a truly wonderful woman with a number of children. Like many others who have posted in the forums I had a very similar addiction and whilst it may not have been as strong it progressively got worse as the mind become desensitized over time. I don't quite remember when the addiction first started but I guess it must have been at the age of 11 or 12. I cant blame it on an unstable home. Both of my parents were loving and always there when I needed them. I am the youngest of my siblings by far, so my parents were relatively old when I was born. In addition they are quite old fashioned in outlook and because of that I don't think I have ever had a conversation with them discussing intimate matters such as the facts of life. Before I started dating seriously I realized that I needed to get rid of my addiction if I was seriously going to devote my life to one woman. Luckily for me this coincided with almost getting caught so it really was a wake up call! It was so difficult to break away, but with Hashem's help I have been successful. I never struck up the courage to discuss my problems with a Rav or anyone and in retrospect this would have made things easier. In retrospect, I utilized many of the techniques in the website and in the main, my attempts were successful. Throughout the past 12 years there have been a few lapses, but I can count them on a single hand and I have been clean for many years – although I know the Y'H can attack at any time. My wife has been massively helpful – she has set up the filters on our computer (I don't know the passwords) and supported me enormously, although I still don't think she really understands how damaging this addiction can be. We are very careful how our son uses the computer.
I just don't know how to handle this, what to say to him or how to explain what he is doing is wrong. Am I possibly massively over-reacting to this? It keeps bringing back memories of my earlier life and I don't want my son to have to go through the same problems and pain that I experienced. Can you recommend how to deal with this or recommend someone I can discuss the issue with?
Hi. It's nice to hear your story and to see how well you are doing. Beautiful! As far as your son, I believe you should tell your son that according to Halacha a person is not allowed to touch there, and it is an inyan of Kedusha. And if he wants to be a Tzadik, this is very important. You don't have to explain him why… Also tell him that Tzadikim slept with their hands above their waists… And also, in Halacha it says not to sleep on the front or back… This is a tricky question because we don't want to tell kids too much, so they shouldn't get ideas in their heads. On the other hand, if we don't tell them enough, they won't get the help they need -if and when- they need it. Actually, this issue of how and what to tell kids was once discussed on our forum. See this thread: (See especially reply #8 from Battleworn). All the best, and may Hashem help you teach your son exactly what he needs to know.