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Old 05-21-2012, 09:41 AM
 
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17,016 posts, read 14,520,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahdeanne View Post
This can also be a call for help. Kids of all ages do it. Do something you know you will get caught at because you want to stop but don't have the tools. It may have started innocently but he may have seen some very raunchy things (violence, children, etc) and not know what to do with his feelings and physical reactions to them.
i suppose it could be. But it also could be nothing more than a normal 13 yo looking at naked ladies, if this post is even true to begin with. I have my doubts.

 
Old 05-21-2012, 09:42 AM
 
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Take the internet away. If that isn't something you are willing to live w/out yourself, than get a program that monitors and controls the websites visited. I wouldn't punish him for the whole summer, that is extreme. I think 13 is at the age that they are curious, period. That is normal. If you make the interest seem bizarre you'll give him a mixed message. This is a difficult situation....I would ask a professional, because while you are punishing him for stealing, you are also mixing up a normal 13 year old interest, making him think something is wrong w/ him for being interested. I raised 4 sons...I had to pretend not to see the girly magazines under the bathroom sink...You are pinning yourself into a corner acting like his interest is an addiction....Tread lightly....this is a touchy situation for sure.
 
Old 05-21-2012, 09:42 AM
 
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Well, I hope you let him out enough to get some sun. Don't want him to get low on vitamin D.
Stealing is wrong of course but quite common from parents at that age, have him work it off as others have said. You probably have some repairs that need attention at home, or a friend who needs some dirt or rock moved, etc.
Porn on the internet can be addictive, a lot more kids have this addiction starting these days. At least he can't get the computer pregnant, or get a disease from it. So, just explain to him that excessive use of anything isn't healthy. But, keep in mind if he has no outlet at all he might just find himself some in the flesh and that could have greater consequences. You don't want a sexually active young boy if you can help it. Make sure as others have said you have "the talk" with him about protection, etc.
Doesn't look like you are coming back to hear the advice, but I hope you do, some good advice on here. Good luck.
 
Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 AM
 
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I agree that the punishment is too harsh. Just have your son do some work, earn a little bit of money and pay you back. Then ground him for a month. Let him know that what he did was wrong. You also need to be strict and firm with him but fair. Another thing would be to install some kind of blocking program on the computer.

Your son's punishment is minor to what happened to me, I got beat up my mother then she banned me from the computer for 3 months. I'll never watch it again...that happened 3 years ago when I was 16. It was literally almost like the scene from Mommie Dearest when Joan got upset about the wire hanger. But of course, I can understand why my mother was mad at me, especially with her being a teacher. If someone found out what I was doing, she said she could have been fired.

Last edited by 90sman; 05-21-2012 at 09:54 AM..
 
Old 05-21-2012, 09:44 AM
 
5,983 posts, read 2,982,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahdeanne View Post
I have (painful) experience with porn/sex addiction and no matter what anyone on this thread tells you it is a real thing and it starts young. Today's teens (and younger) are much more at risk because of the availability of free porn on the internet. (as some have joked about). The ways to determine if this is just acting out and pushing limits or if it is an addiction are related to how compulsive he is.

1) Does he actually seem a little relieved at being "found out"? (this could mean he had been trying to stop on his own)

2) Is there lying manipulation and secrecy involved? (although most kids will try to hide things from their parents at some point, with addiction this turns into a sort of double life and the addict becomes a master of manipulation)

3) Is he craving more and more "hardcore" stimulation? (addiction can not be satisfied and over time it leads into more and more destructive practices. I agree that him using your credit card is a red flag that he may have been looking for something more than what he had already seen for free)

4) Is he noticeably distracted, forgetful, or depressed (I know these are hard to distinguish in teens but think of his "normal" behavior and has it gotten progressively worse)

5) Did the confession come out in layers when you confronted him? (Addicts sometimes block things out of their own memory, or confess everything up to a point until a discovery forces them to confess more)


There are more indicators that he and a counselor would be able to identify and no I do not think counseling is over reacting. Of course you want to steer clear of the attitude "There is something WRONG with him get him to a counselor quick before it's too LATE!" and have more of an attitude of "we could all use a little counsel sometimes, my kid has some secrets and shame, it would be great if he could feel like someone is listening to him and cares about how he's feeling"

I understand that you are angry but your reaction in this situation is VERY IMPORTANT. Locking him in his room all summer will not give him any tools (if he is struggling with addiction) and it communicates rejection and disgust (which is what an addict expects people to feel towards him) Offering counseling (from someone who specializes in sex addiction) and listening to him about the process of how he got started in all communicates the opposite, acceptance, and unconditional love.

You also need to evaluate yourself, you may need to take some responsibility for allowing a 13 yr old boy access to all the internet, time, and credit card info he had to work with. You may need to be HONEST and OPEN with your son about your own sexual feelings and history and make sure he doesn't feel ashamed and alone. Have you talked with your son about your feelings on using porn and your experiences with it?

I ask that other posters please be respectful as I am speaking from experience with an addict and that was part of the question the OP asked. If you don't believe in sex addiction or if you don't think a 13 yr old can be struggling with it fine, but please don't attack my experience.

The addict I am referring to had a situation at only 10 yrs old where he was "caught" but the way his parents handled it caused him more pain and pushed him farther into it. It was not that they over reacted. They removed his materials from his hiding spot and NEVER MENTIONED IT. I do not know if they were thinking "this is just normal boy stuff" or what, but their silence left him drowning in shame. Now he knew everyone knew his secret but they would not talk to him, give him a consequence, offer to listen or relate to him, nothing. He wishes his father had been there for him in some way in that time (even just by being angry and telling him not to do it any more). The silence was just another rejection and isolation confirming his negative self image and pushing him to use more. His addiction got FAR worse before ever getting help and the healing is now a long slow process.

I agree with others that say the punishment you guys have worked up is harsh but the fact that you are addressing character issues with him lets him know you haven't given up on him. That's what parenting is all about. Please look him in the eye and listen to him too. I know one person mentioned that he needs to earn your trust back. I fully agree, and asking him to pay back the money is a great consequence. I think you also should work to earn his trust. If he can trust you with his secrets they may not become so poisonous. You do have an chance to really help or hurt your son here.
That's a great post and thanks for sharing your experience.

Trust me, I don't take any kind of addiction lightly and would never poo poo it.

OTOH, the OP's punishment is very extreme and shows me that they are prone to overreaction and exaggeration. I believe they need to investigate thoroughly before coming to any conclusions (not saying you don't believe that).

Treating someone like they have an addiction when they don't is incredibly counter productive and harmful, in and of itself.

I would tread very very carefully here.
 
Old 05-21-2012, 09:45 AM
 
539 posts, read 546,720 times
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I have a 15yo boy, I am well aware of the hormones that are raging. I know he's seen porn but he's definitely not addicted.

I could only imagine the trouble, loneliness and desperation he would feel if I gave him the kind of punishment your talking about. If he spent the whole summer locked in his room. I think that's your first reaction cause your angry and scared.

I agree with the poster that said keep him busy. A tired teenager is a compliant teenager. It's when they have TOO much time in their own heads that the real trouble might start.
 
Old 05-21-2012, 09:45 AM
 
1,933 posts, read 1,858,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
i suppose it could be. But it also could be nothing more than a normal 13 yo looking at naked ladies, if this post is even true to begin with. I have my doubts.
^^ This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanND View Post
Take the internet away. If that isn't something you are willing to live w/out yourself, than get a program that monitors and controls the websites visited. I wouldn't punish him for the whole summer, that is extreme. I think 13 is at the age that they are curious, period. That is normal. If you make the interest seem bizarre you'll give him a mixed message. This is a difficult situation....I would ask a professional, because while you are punishing him for stealing, you are also mixing up a normal 13 year old interest, making him think something is wrong w/ him for being interested. I raised 4 sons...I had to pretend not to see the girly magazines under the bathroom sink...You are pinning yourself into a corner acting like his interest is an addiction....Tread lightly....this is a touchy situation for sure.

And this ^^^


I am surprised though that the OP did not have something that monitors the internet for such sites or a family thingy on it. I can't think of the word.
 
Old 05-21-2012, 09:46 AM
 
8,394 posts, read 7,482,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
Just a thought...you might want to check what sites he was paying for. Porn is so readily available online, the only possible reason I can think to pay for it is if you're into something more...exotic....than average. So I would call the credit card company and find out as much as you can and have a look.

Otherwise, I agree with everyone else. He can't sit in his room on a bed and stare at the wall for the entire summer. Have him pay off his debt and take away his computer access for a time.
You can find out the sites by the computer history. I wouldn't involve the card company unless you're planning on claiming fraudulent use of your card....I don't think you want to do that.
 
Old 05-21-2012, 09:53 AM
 
400 posts, read 251,763 times
Reputation: 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
i suppose it could be. But it also could be nothing more than a normal 13 yo looking at naked ladies, if this post is even true to begin with. I have my doubts.
Well I do hope the OP comes back and it was an honest post! I agree that a 13 yo will look for naked ladies when he can, but what is available gets much worse and crosses a lot of basic human moral lines. Parents should be HONEST and aware of how far their children are going. I can not stress the importance of talking to your kids about sex so they don't feel like an alien. Shame is a death trap.
 
Old 05-21-2012, 09:55 AM
 
3,174 posts, read 2,058,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magritte25 View Post
I don't think either thing - credit card use or porn - needs counseling right off the bat. This is pretty standard stuff for young teens IMO.
Yeah, I agree.

One of my good friends is a middle school teacher and he cracks us up all the time with stories of the sheer stupidity that goes on at that age. He catches kids doing the craziest things and half the time their 'reasoning" for doing it involves no logic at all or even worse, they don't even know why they did something so brain dead in the first place.

He calls 13/14 year olds walking balls of lobotomized hormones.

He deserves a punishment, but all summer is excessive and you can't really draw grand conclusions from his behavior anyway. He's 13 and stupid.

I do think it might be a good idea to check out which site he was paying for though.
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