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Strategies to Prevent or Stop: Use of Pornography 

By Children, Adolescents & Young Adults

Pornography Intervention - A Training Resource
By Jim Messina, Ph.D., CCMHC, NCC, DCMHS-T

 Preventing or Intervening so that Pornography does not get a hold of your children


This site will prepare you to get the resources you need to:

1. Have discussions with your children about porn when they are young enough to prevent its use, and when they are older not to embarrass or shame them but to get them to recognize the negative impact that getting into porn can be.

2.To be well prepared to conduct these talks with your children and for that reason we strongly recommend you read the following sections of this site to help you put together your outline for talks with your preschoolers, elementary, middle and high school aged children. Look at the following topics on this site to get yourself ready:

3. Make your home safe from cybersex invasion through the use of Monitoring and Filtering systems such as Covenant Eyes which are listed below on the Websites, Monitoring Sites and Videos To Be Used in Pornography Intervention 
Website Monitoring and Blocking Systems to Help Make Your Home Safe

Circle with Disney:
Mobicip Internet Filter:
Norton: Keep Your Family Safe:
Qustodio Family System:
4. Understand the stages of kids’ involvement with porn:
  • Stage 1: Experimentation and curiosity: Most initial porn viewing that happens in childhood, or even the teen years, is born out of curiosity. Boys want to know what the girls look like with no clothes on, and vice versa. Before puberty, it is natural for boys and girls to be curious about gender and sexual differences. During puberty, as sexual feelings grow, it is also common for boys and girls to be drawn by provocative images online, desiring to see more

  • Stage 2: Regular use of masturbation: In this stage, your child has gone from curiosity to “using” porn or online chatting for sexual gratification and orgasm. While this stage is more common among teens, younger children can also enter this stage. In this stage, while there may be feelings of shame, the porn use is seen as recreational.

  • Stage 3: Risky use: What constitutes “risky use” is not the same for all children. The almost undetectable shift into this stage happens when kids start to seek porn despite the negative consequences. They might stay up late into the night binging on porn, losing sleep and the ability to focus during the daytime, only to return to porn the next night. They might start looking at porn in riskier settings (at school, with a parent’s smartphone, when someone could walk in at any moment, when they should be watching a younger sibling, etc.). Getting caught is less of a concern to them, and in fact, the fear of it becomes part of the “high” they get from the experience.

  • Stage 4: Dependence and Addiction: Masturbating to pornography taps into the neurocircuitry of the brain, signaling the release of dopamine, serotonin, opiates, oxytocin, and other hormones and neurotransmitters. This hormonal cocktail is part of the body’s natural response to sexual activity, but when combined with graphic porn, the brain experiences a sexual “high” at unnatural levels. Those who have developed an addictive relationship to pornography experience an overwhelming craving for porn, seemingly uncontrollable sexual fantasies, and even withdrawal symptoms. The types of porn that used to satisfy no longer do; harder and more graphic pornography is sought (from: When Your Child is Looking at Porn by Luke Gilkerson (2013) a free Ebook from Covenant Eyes)

Extra Attention is Needed by Parents to this Problem


Exposure to pornography is probably unavoidable as long as kids have access to the internet be it by computer, smart phones, ipads, iphones etc, but pornography problems are preventable. Recent accounts report that children as young as 8 years of age have been exposed to pornography online. 


As online pornography/sex materials expanded, a study in 2016 found links between Internet addiction, engagement in online erotica (including pornography usage and usage of sex-based Internet chat sites), and engagement in risky online sexual behaviors (sending sexually-explicit pictures to those known only online; sexting) and expecting to engage in offline sex with those known only online which has been exacerbated by the onslaught of Internet sex chat sites (Drouin & Miller, 2016). Research has also demonstrated that Adolescents aged 15-16 years, especially male adolescents, are the most prone to the development of Internet addiction, whereas adolescents aged 11-12 years show the lowest level of Internet addiction (Karacic  & Oreskovic, 2017).


Research has shown that: 1. Pornography and related sexual media can influence sexual violence, sexual attitudes, moral values and sexual activity of children; 2. peer-to-peer-file-sharing leads to a tremendous amount of inadvertent and unintentional exposure of children to pornography and other adult sexual media and that these networks depend on these young people constructing their own sexualized media environment; 3. But research has demonstrated that a warm and open parent-child relationship is the most important nontechnical means that parents can use to deal with the challenges of the sexualized media. Further that open parent-child channels for communicating about sexual and media experiences, sex education at home or school, and parental participation with children on the Internet are constructive influences (Greenfield, 2004).

Given these realities it is recommended that parents:
  1. Not give a smartphone to a child unil age 14 or older
  2. Not have computers or other electronic devices in their children's room but rather in public spaces and that Bed rooms are to be used for school studying and sleep.
  3. Check daily the log of site visitation on computers and electronic devices used by children
  4. Talk with the parents of your children's friends and update them on the realities of internet pornography mass production
  5. Recognize that up to 90% of pornography is not commercial but rather from amateur production and distribution-such as through sexting
  6. Get to know the friends and colleagues their children associate with so as to monitor if these friends are engaging in pornography related behaviors
  7. Arrange to monitor the computer and all electronic devices in the home
  8. Be cautious about their children freely going to public libraries or other public facilities which have free access to the computers and the internet
  9. Be cautious with their own smartphones, ipads, iphones, laptops, computers etc so that their children are not utilizing them to get to undesirable websites
  10. Work hard to improve the communications with their children to keep the lines of communications open so that their children can feel free and not be shamed if they bring to their parents' attention their encounters and use of pornography be it online or not.

Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Children to Weather the Cyber Storms

Pathfinder Parenting: Tools for Raising Responsible Children (Messina, 2013) at:, was a book for parents written, well before the internet era, it has since been updated a couple of times but it unfortunately did not directly address the issue of Online Compulsive Pornography Use. However, its tools are very relevant to this issue and these principles will work well with parents dealing with their children’s potential or current use of pornography. 

Have a look first at the Introduction of the book at: and lastly have at look at the Tool which parents need to utilize when dealing with their children’s potential or current use of pornography and that is the conducting of family meetings with all children in attendance which is fully explained in the T - Tracking Pathfinder Structures for Children; 12.0 Structures for Family Meetings at:

  • P - Principles of Pathfinder Parenting at: which covers guidelines on how to relate to children in a responsible way so that there is never “yelling, screaming, ranting or raving” going on but rather rational calm and supportive communications which lead kids to accept personal responsibility for their own behaviors by use of natural and logical consequences

  • T - Tracking Pathfinder Structures for Children at: which give you directions for the positive steps you can take at each stage of your children’s development to insure that by the time they are old enough to deal with the internet and its enticements that they will trust and respect your judgment as to what is best for them and to accept the natural and logical consequences you establish to maintain health boundaries and goal directed behaviors.

  • H - Hugging Children to Create a Healthy Bond at which encourages parents to build an emotional bond with their children which can be relied upon when the need for parental support and guidance are needed especially when setting up family boundaries concerning use of the internet, mobile devices and other cyber activities.

  • F - Formulating Behavioral Consequences to Encourage Personal Responsibility in Children at: which provide parents with a better understanding of what it takes to use natural and logical consequences to help their children grow in personal responsibility taking.

  • N - Negotiating to Advocate for Children's Rights & Needs at: which encourages parents with steps to take to get out there and negotiate with those who educate, train, coach, and preach to their children to support measures to insure the safety and well-being of their children.

  • D - Discussing Issues with Feelings Oriented Communication at: which is a short course for parents on how to effectively communicate with their children to insure they are on board with the parents and to insure their children are safe and living their lives in a healthy responsible way when it comes to such things as internet, mobile devices and other cyber activities.

  • E - Establishing Healthy Boundaries with Children at: Guidelines and Tools for parents to utilize to assist their children to establish health boundaries in their lives which speaks directly to the need to establish health boundaries in their use of the internet, mobile devices and other cyber activities.

  • R - Releasing Ourselves of Shame and Guilt Through Self-Forgiveness at: which helps parents recognize that:  “they can only do what they can do, given the nature of imperfect humans” and given that “life is not always fair.” Parent need to self-heal so that they can more appropriately confront and deal with the realities of pornography use by their children.

Parents Do Make a Difference in Addressing The Pornography Explosion


Here is a "How to" Online Training Program for Parents to develop a parental action plan to address the pornography onslaught, developed by Covenant Eyes presented through a combination of their E-book: Parenting in the Internet Generation by Luke Gilkerson and Chris McKenna (2016) and through a series of videos related to each of the book’s chapters:


To get the E-book go to:


Introductory Video to Parenting the Internet Generation at:


Videos Related to each of the 9 Chapters

  1. A House in Ruins: How Porn is Harming Our Kids at:
  2. The Blueprint: This is the House the Lord Built at:
  3. The First Wall: A Godly Self-Identity at:
  4. The Second Wall: Understanding Sexual Integrity at:
  5. The Third Wall: Understanding the Sinful Impulse at:
  6. The Fourth Wall: Understanding Sexual Shame at:
  7. Windows to the World of Parental Controls and Media Literacy at:
  8. The Roof of Protection: Supportive and Structured Parenting at:  
  9. The Foundation: The Security of the Gospel of Grace at:

Keep Your Kids Safe Online - An Online Video Course for Parent

Internet safety starts with smart parents. Learn how to protect your kids form internet dangers and how to better guide them to wise choices with a quick and free video course from CMGConnect Parents.

Covenant Eyes E-Books for Parents Working to Prevent Children becoming hooked on pornography at:


  • Equipped: Raising Godly Digital Natives by Luke Gilkerson & Christ McKenna. (2016). Owosso, MI: Covenant Eyes, Inc.


  • Parenting the Internet Generation-A Blueprint for Teaching Digital Discernment by Luke Gilkerson & Christ McKenna. (2016). Owosso, MI: Covenant Eyes, Inc.


  • When Your Child is Looking at Porn-a Step by Step Guide for Christian Parents by Luke Gilkerson. (2013). Owosso, MI: Covenant Eyes, Inc.


  • Protecting Your Family Online-A Parent’s How-To Guide. (2013). Owosso, MI: Covenant Eyes, Inc


  • A Parent’s Guide to Cyberbullying (2013). Owosso, MI: Covenant Eyes, Inc
Books for Parent to Use With Their Children

Arterburn, S., Stoeker, F. & Yorkey, M. (2002). Every young man’s battle: Strategies for victory in the real world of sexual temptation. Colorado Springs, CO: Waterbrook Press

Jenson, K.A., Poyner, G. & Fox, D. (2014). Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids. Richland, WA: Glen Cove Press

Wilson, G. (2014). Your brain on porn: Internet pornography and the emerging science of addiction. London: Commonwealth Publishing.

YouTube Videos on Dealing with Pornography use by Children , Adolescents and Young Adults

How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography at:


What Should I Do When I See Pornography? At:


How to Talk to Your Kids about Intimacy At:


For More: Websites & Videos Click Here      

References for this section are at: REFERENCES on Treatment of Compulsive Use of Pornography