Say you know that your son watches pornography and you may or may not have caught him in the act. How do you react to this ? Do you ban him from using the internet/monitor his activities or overlook if you think he watches a little bit once in a while ? Assume that he is not a addict and has a life beyond the internet. Please share your thoughts and/or experiences with me.
My son is only year old these days, but I can't deny I think about "those discussions" I'll have to make with him at some point, in the years to come. So here is what I would probably do.
- First of all, in the beginning of his puberty I will have "that discussion" with him, explaining about many things and probably mention porn as well. I don't think that telling something like "never watch porn" is going to work so rather advice him to stay discreet about it and not let it reflect on real life.
- If I will catch him watching porn, I will just repeat what I said before. Again, I don't think I will yell at him or punish. Of course that it also depends on the type of porn (there are things that will not be tolerated) but generally speaking, I must face that it's part of becoming adult.
One more thing, if we ban something and press the child into a corner, he might retaliate in unexpected ways and in the end of the day, banning porn might only lead to him watching more. So better have it under some sort of control. Plus, we all do it, or at least did it at young age so totally forbidding it would be hypocrite.
I agree with Shadow Wizard that talking is important. I think it is also important to let your boy know that porn, even in its more harmless variants, is not what making love looks like (and explain how it differs). Even I as a female accept that watching at porn is something what some people do, and (in my opinion) it's not necessarily bad, as long as certain boundaries aren't crossed (ie no violence, etc.).
With a young man watching porn, I would assume that he might be trying to learn more about sex and personal relations. This may be related to learning how to navigate the minefield of dating and all that follows, or it might be related to learning how to handle the roller coaster of hormones he is probably subject to. Either way, I think he deserves understanding and guidance, not prohibition (or worse, punishment).
You gotta talk to him. You won't be able to just outright block it - he'll find a way around it. The dangers of pornography on the teenage mind(and any mind for that matter) are well-documented. Pornography addiction is going to be a big issue for kids growing up now with the internet. Like you said, your son isn't addicted, but being aware of how addictive it is may help him in making a good decision.
He's gotta be able to make his own decisions about it - you can't just control him forever - so the best you can do is guide him to make smart decisions. Checkout yourbrainonporn.com to start.