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Old 05-20-2012, 09:35 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,878 times
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I found out yesterday that my 13-year-old son has been using my credit card on pornographic websites, and has spent about $90 on porn. Needless to say, my wife and I are furious. As a punishment, we have grounded our son until the end of the summer. In our district, there is one more week of school left in the school year, so he will be grounded for that week and then for the whole summer. He will be grounded to his room, and will only be allowed out for school, meals, bathroom, and chores. No TV, computer, video games, phone, or friends.

I am just wondering how to deal with this, since obviously he has used quite a bit of pornography and my wife and I are worried he might have a porn addiction. Also, we are wondering if the punishment we have given him is appropriate. I understand it might seem very harsh, but we do want to impress upon him that stealing is very wrong and will always be severely punished. He basically stole 90$ from us and if he had stolen it from someone else, he could have been charged with credit card fraud and sent to prison.

So, is grounding him for the entire summer a good punishment, or should we perhaps shorten the grounding?

Also, we are wondering what do about it if he does have a porn addiction. Does anyone have any advice?

We also are thinking of making him pay back the 90$ somehow, either by selling his video game consoles, or by having him do extra chores around the house and yard for 1$ per hour. Do you think either of those would be a good idea, or do you have any other suggestions?

Thank you in advance.

 
Old 05-20-2012, 09:44 PM
 
5,983 posts, read 2,980,980 times
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I don't think your son has a porn addiction, I think he's just got hormones.

Punish him for using your card, but make the punishment fit the crime, like doing work for neighbors or something to earn your 90 bucks back, plus interest and penalties.

An entire summer of grounding is way OTT, and a major pain for the family, I'd imagine.

I'd also ask him what he was thinking, there's plenty of free porn on the interwebz. (sorry. I know it's not funny.)
 
Old 05-20-2012, 09:51 PM
 
Location: here
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I think it is a bit much, honestly. Although, I'm not sure you should back out now if you've already told him this will be his punishment. I think a serious talk is in order. I think he should know that some curiosity is normal, but that looking at these kind of sites isn't a good thing to do. Did he not think that he'd get caught when you got the cc bill? If this is his first offense, I think taking away the computer and video games would be enough, or maybe take all of it way for a month, but not the whole summer. I don't see why making him stay in his room is necessary. He's probably embarrassed. Banishing him to his room probably makes him feel like some kind of pervert that isn't fit to be with the rest of the family. ETA yes, he should have to work to pay you back the money, too.
 
Old 05-20-2012, 10:02 PM
 
7,762 posts, read 9,326,836 times
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I completely agree with Finster and Kibbie. Your punishment doesn't really fit the crime, and seems too harsh. The bigger crime to me would be using your credit card, which is, indeed stealing. Grounded for a month, made to earn back every penny, and a long talk with Dad about why porn isn't real would be more effective IMO.
 
Old 05-20-2012, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
13,670 posts, read 10,914,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
I'd also ask him what he was thinking, there's plenty of free porn on the interwebz. (sorry. I know it's not funny.)
This is exactly what I thought. Unfortunately, you can see SO much online without even trying very hard and certainly without spending money. So you are dealing with a 2-pronged issue: porn and theft.

My neighbor had this issue with her son, although he was 17. They decided to nip it in the bud and take a very strict approach. They went as a family to a local counseling center that addresses this problem in youth. It was very helpful.

I do think you will have a hard time enforcing this prolonged punishment. What exactly is he going to do this summer? Does one parent stay home? Kids at this age need direction. He doesn't need to be sitting alone in his room all summer drowning in shame.
 
Old 05-20-2012, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
26,457 posts, read 17,788,424 times
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$90 does not an addiction make. That is light compared to what some folks get into.
While I think he should have some punishment the whole summer grounded is WAY TOO MUCH.

he's a teenager with lots of hormones and curiosity. if you blow this up really out of proportion you will make it even worse. Surely you were not thinking clearly when you made the whole summer off limits for any kind of quality fo life. he would run away i promise. calm down, find a way to get him ti repay you- not the neighbors as suggested and talk to him about how to control his urges or else get them met in ways which won't affect you financially. You do know men and women of all ages masturbate don't you and it is healthy.

so what is he drowning in shame from. stealing, porn or masturbating?
 
Old 05-20-2012, 10:15 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 5,692,742 times
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I agree with the posters who said it's a little overkill. I think making him pay back the $90 is a punishment that fits the crime. Maybe you can even turn this into an opportunity to start building up a work ethic by telling him if he earns his own money, he can buy things for himself. And he's obviously too young for a credit card (most banks require you to be 18 or 16 as a dependent on another person's account), but you could even establish an opportunity like him giving you cash and you can buy him a book he can only get online with your credit card, or something, so he learns how to get people's permission and go about things in an honest way instead of stealing.

I think letting him know there is free porn and how to check for safe sites is a good idea, cause he's probably going to look at porn either way. Even with free porn you have to worry about computer viruses and such. If it does seem like he's completely obsessed (I have no idea how much $90 of porn translates to, but I'm talking about if he spends 17 hours a day watching porn, way above and beyond the average 13-year-old boy) you might look into underlying reasons why. Being overly sexual can be a sign of other psychological issues.
 
Old 05-20-2012, 10:23 PM
 
Location: TX
5,926 posts, read 2,403,051 times
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I would've just grounded him from the computer. For about a month. Your best bet (though it's never a guarantee) for ridding him of this little hobby is to get him interested in others. So I would've let him keep everything else.

As for the money, this is why it's always a good idea to give kids an allowance! You could've just withheld that until the debt was paid off.
 
Old 05-20-2012, 10:56 PM
 
5,987 posts, read 5,101,093 times
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Where is the computer he used? If it's in his room, take it out. And never put it back in there. And if he wants/needs to use it, then it needs to be with your supervision.

I agree that being grounded for the whole summer is a bit much. But you can restrict use of the computer all you like.
 
Old 05-20-2012, 11:07 PM
 
Location: La Mesa Aka The Table
3,977 posts, read 2,664,819 times
Reputation: 3271
Internet porn is free!
What hell is doing paying for it?
You need to punish him for not knowing how to use the internet!
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