This past summer as I flipped through the pages of a New Yorker, I came across a comic. The art featured a teenage boy’s bedroom with a scantily clad female objectified on the wall. The boy is pulling up his mattress and bragging to his friend, “My parents are so busy checking the computer that they never think of this.”

I do believe that I laughed right out loud when I read this caption. Yet upon further thought, I also realized there’s a lesson here.

Now, parents, before you think I’m going to give all of you permission to run straight into your teen’s bedroom and ransack the place looking for dirty magazines, let’s talk about something first.

In the twenty-first century, life is coming at our children a million miles an hour. If our kids want to look at porn, they’re going to find a way to look at porn be it on the internet, in magazines, or through the scrambled bars on your cable television.

Getting them to stop looking at porn isn’t the goal. Yes, this is important. After all, feeding an addiction increases the likelihood that the addiction will be around for awhile.

Recovery is the goal. Being able to live a life free of addiction because of healing and life transformation is the goal.

Porn (or any addiction) is an outlet and a symptom of something that is happening deep inside a person’s heart. Getting rid of the symptoms isn’t too difficult. Band-aids such as X3 Watch are definitely important. However this is addiction; the wound is deep and band-aids are not enough.

Your child is addicted to porn because of something happening with self-esteem or neglect or emotional cravings or any number of other issues. Help your child come to grips with finding a voice for those issues through conversations and counseling. You can curb behavior with band-aids, but please seek help for what is happening inside causing that behavior.

You’ll notice that there are several resources for helping work through and recover from porn addiction. Look around and take advantage of the tools provided. You don’t have to face this alone, but you do have to face it, all of it. Your child’s well being is at stake. Real healing and recovery will take a good amount of time and energy and will not be easy. Yet, every tear that is shed and every difficult conversation spoken is more than worth the effort it will take. Make healing a priority in your family. Your child my not thank you right now, but they will thank you for it eventually.

Dan Scott