Help! 11 yr old son's interest in porn?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2004
Help! 11 yr old son's interest in porn?
4
Fri, 02-06-2004 - 9:34am
Hi, I'm new here...

I'm a single mother of an eleven year old boy. His father has never been 'involved', in the best sense of the word, and the few times he has turned up to spend time with our son was enough that my son now hates his father... we haven't heard from him now since he 'stood up' my son (for the umpteenth time) last Summer, so he is the last person I can go to on this matter...

I've tried to raise my son to be open, honest and comfortable talking with me on everything...we've already had several talks on sex (just the general stuff...he's uncomfortable talking about the 'mechanics', so I haven't pushed that issue), and I was confident that we had a good understanding between us.

This year, my normally happy and athletic son entered the sixth grade, at a local middle school (oh why didn't they let 6th graders stay that last precious year at the elementary school??), and almost overnight has hit puberty: mood swings, body changes, his interest in girls and a crush on one in particular, disrespect, anger, embarassment, etc.

Of course, I know these are normal things, and we have discussed them appropriately.

His grades, though, have been erratic--first grading period, there were D's and F's. He worked hard on bringing his grades back up to B's and C's, then a couple A's (so I gave him a lot of positive encouragement!)...then, just last week, I found he's back down to a couple F's and D's, and a C-

He has spent a lot of time concentrating more on Yu-Gi-oh cards and Nintendo than I'd like, so we have had a few go-to's on that subject. He works well with the discipline and restrictions, but a few months later, we are right back where we started..

This morning, I discovered (to much shock and dismay) that my son has been browsing for porn on our computer; as he does a lot of homework from his teacher's websites, and the research online that's involved, I had begun to trust his time online was innocent and academic... In kind of 'sick relief', I am silently glad his interest were 'normal' (he was looking for--and at--pictures, but it was basically an anatomy kind of curiosity--nothing kinky, thank God), and I know he is horribly embarassed at not only being 'caught' but that his interest could have been 'bad', or 'abnormal'; I'm want to reassure him that he is ABSOLUTELY NORMAL, but that we need to discuss some rules of sorts (and of course, his obvious questions)...

I approached him carefully on this, this morning, and he had a virtual meltdown.

I was non-combative, and so cautious (I tried to tell him his interest in girls and women's bodies was absolutely normal, that there was no need to be ashamed, but that we needed to sit down and talk about it...), to no avail.

He has shut his bedroom door, cried himself to sleep and I had to call the school and tell them he's home sick today...

How have other single Moms addressed a situation like this? I have several good books on parenting 'tweens', but, unfortunately, they address nothing this specific...

Help!


PS: I also realize that this incident/milestone is probably traumatizing *me* as much, if not more, than my son! ANY advice for me, my son, and/or both of us would be most welcome...


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2003
Fri, 02-06-2004 - 11:47am
I am the mom of a 13 yr old boy and while I am not a single parent, my DH is a truckdriver, so I am the one who talks to our son. First I am glad to tell you that this stage will pass. My DS went thru the same thing at 11 & 12. He is almost 14 and doing soooo much better. What I have always done is to take advantage of anything that will start a conversation. An article in a magazine, a movie, talk show, etc. That way he does not think I am acusing him of anything. Also if he is embarased he will have a tantrum because then he does not have to talk to you. Maybe if you sit where you are not looking right at him it may help. My DS likes to talk while we are driving in the car. I sometimes plan a errand to take him on without my DD so we can have time to talk. Being in the car seems to help him open up more. I hope i have been of some small help.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Fri, 02-06-2004 - 4:40pm

Hello and Welcome!!

Sherrie Rainbow

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2004
Fri, 02-06-2004 - 5:55pm
Thanks so much for your responses... I'm better this afternoon than I was this morning.

I'm also trying to put into the perspective that this is an 'event' in both of our lives, and that he is as traumatized at getting 'caught' as I was shocked to make the discovery...

Must be Mother's intuition...we just arrived home from a drive to a video rental store on the other side of town (I had coupons for that store, I told my son); the drive, indeed, was where we both were able to talk about 'it' (soft and hard porn) and I was able to reassure him that I was not going to punish him this time, but be of guidance to him instead. His online time will be restricted to homework assignments (no more game cheats, video-game sites) and he will be monitored more closely until I can trust him again.

He is still a little unnerved, but did listen, and did give me a somewhat emotional hug afterwards. Most importantly, I reassured him he wasn't a 'pervert', or weird--his interest in this area is perfectly normal and expected, but the computer is to be forever off-limits for that kind of browsing...

And another thing -- I must agree about the driving and talking suggestion. It did work, perhaps because I had to watch the road while driving and talking, and not pin him down eye-to-eye. I've recognized, now, that the majority of our 'serious talks' have all taken place during long drives!

Thanks again for your support and encouragement...

Shea

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 02-08-2004 - 4:51pm
Welcome, Shea! I'm glad you were able to talk to your son in the car, and are feeling better about the situation. I just wanted to add my welcome to the board. Glad you found us and jumped in with this important question. Hope to see you here often!

Janet


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