Caught My 15 Year Old Watching Porn

by GYE (See all authors)

Rabbi Dr. Avraham Twerski wrote to GYE:

I received a call from a mother who found her 15 yr old son watching porn

What do you recommend for this age group

Twerski


We responded:

Dear Rabbi Twerski,

We have a special page for teens on our website over here.

Here are a few suggestions for the parents:

1) If the parents can remove all internet access from their son, that would be best. If this is not possible, they should definitely install a good filter on all internet enabled devices at home (see our website www.venishmartem.com). We suggest GenTech as a reliable filter for computers and phones. In addition, they should also install reporting software like e-Blaster from Spectorsoft so they can keep tabs on everything the son views (and even what he types) on the computer.

2) They should have a heart to heart discussion with the son and explain to him with loving care how addictive these behaviors are (i.e. the more we do them the harder it is to stop), how they have the potential to destroy his life and his future marriage (by learning to objectify women), and that these behaviors can eventually take him away from all connection to Hashem, to Kedusha and his purpose on this world. This should be said in a positive way, by stressing that a Jew is a ben-Melech and needs to be kadosh and these behaviors are not appropriate for us. They may be able to find a Mechanech in their area that would be better equipped and experienced with having these kind of talks with children.

3) If the son is already addicted (and the parents cannot remove his internet access) our website www.guardyoureyes.com allows anyone over the age of 14 to sign up. He can sign up at www.guardyoureyes.com/register and get access to the forums, chat-rooms and partner programs, to give him the support network he needs to help break free. He can also join the 90-day motivational program and read the attitude tips on our site, all of which are appropriate and helpful for young teens as well.

4) The TaPHSiC method can be a big help, especially if it is done with parental guidance and with monetary incentives. For example, I know one father who found out that his 16 year old son was struggling with masturbation. He had a heart to heart talk with him and made him a deal. He took $500 and divided it in two. The first $250 he gave his son on the spot, and the second $250 was for when the son would complete 90 days clean in a row - without any falls. But even the first $250 was with a condition. The son wouldn't spend the money for 90 days, and every time he had a fall, he'd have to give back some of the money. And it worked like this: If the son first did 10 minutes of exercise and said 10 minutes of Tehilim before he had a fall, then he would have to only give back only $25. But if he fell without first doing those two things, he would have to give back $100 to his father. So far, the son has been clean since the deal! (2 months)

5) If the parents try everything and the son is still addicted, he may need therapy. There are addiction therapists who are trained to work with children. Please see our therapist directory: http://guardyoureyes.com/therapists

6) I suggest reading two booklets on our website. One is called "Dear Bochur" which was written by a mechanech with 40 years of experience and it discusses the issurim involved in these things in a way that teens can relate to and appreciate. The second booklet is called "Protecting our Youth" and it would best be read by the parents to give them tools to know how to speak with their children and how to protect them. It was written by mechanchim and therapists in the field.

7) On a final note, we once asked the Rav what we can tell children about intimacy and the Rav responded as follows: Sara Diament M.A, wrote a booklet "Talking to Your Children About Intimacy: A Guide for Orthodox Jewish Parents." It is worth reading. This may be appropriate for the parents to read as well.


Dear Yakov:
Many thanks.
Tizkeh l'mitzvos
Twerski


More Helpful Resources:

We recently put out 2 booklets about how to speak to children around this age about these issues:

However, the fact your son may be addicted may call for more intervention. Below are some related articles.

You can also contact Rabbi Avi Landa (landa1793@gmail.com) who speaks to kids this age... He wrote me recently this email:

I got a call for a mother in Pittsburgh who said GYE referred her to call me. We discussed briefly the nature of her situation and how she would like me to educate/talk through the issues with her son. She asked how much I would charge. I proceeded to tell her what I tell all prospective clients. I charge 250 for the first session and 150 for each additional session but on an as needed basis I can negotiate the subsequent 150/session fee. The sessions are typically 45 minutes.

When the situation is geared specifically to addressing inyanei kedusha and not other mental health concerns, I can typically accomplish what needs to be done in 4 sessions. The first to build rapport with the boy, the second to meet with the parents and go over the talk with them, the third to have the kedusha talk with the boy, and the fourth to follow up with the boy, set a strategy moving forward, and maintain contact with the parents to see how things are going at home. Obviously, at that point the boy might want to continue checking in and working on the situation assuming there are continuing struggles, but I feel that after the 4 session intervention I have accomplished a defined goal; we can then discuss whether we would move forward with further therapy.