By Floyd Godfrey, LPC, CSAT candidate.
Discovery that your adolescent child has trouble with sex can be a terrifying experience for parents. Sometimes your son has merely confessed to you that he's having difficulty with watching pornography. Other times you accidentally discover he's acting dangerously promiscuous. Research within the past several years has been clear ... teens get addicted to sexual behavior and pornography. It's not just hormones.
If your teen is addicted to sexual behavior or pornography you might not observe the symptoms right away. Most boys won't understand that changes are happening inside their brain until it's far too late. The changes are subtle and gradually increase over time.
How do you determine if your kid is addicted to sex? The following are some typical signs to help you evaluate. However, be cautious! Adolescents have raging hormones that influence their budding sexuality. Just because his sexual feelings are strong, doesn't mean he's addicted. But you can use the following questions as a guide:
1. Does he vow that he's stopped, but keeps returning to the behavior?
2. Does he keep engaging sexual activity despite the fact that it contradicts his values or morals?
3. Does he try to conceal his sexual activity so that others don't figure it out?
4. When he isn't doing something sexual does he invest time thinking or preparing for his next chance to do it?
5. Does your son share any sort of anxiety about getting caught doing sexual things in places that are inappropriate like at school, the library, or at his job?
6. Has he ever engaged sexual activity at the expense of important events like work or family time?
7. Have you observed that he frequently seems detached or have a harder time getting socially involved?
It's not a simple process, but your son's whole temperament will appear to change if he frees himself of compulsive sexual activity. It can be frustrating because there is no instant or rapid treatment. It will be a whole lot of difficult work over a course of time. Lots of teens who effectively overcome an obsession to sexual activity or pornography seek expert therapy.
See to it that you don't embarrass or shame your son if he makes attempts to stop, but keeps going back to it. This is common. Your son is normal. Although it's discouraging if he returns to the behavior, shaming him or attempting to make him feel worse as a means of stopping the behavior usually has the opposite effect. There is nothing innately wrong with him, except that he's addicted. Find a professional with special training in sexual addiction to assist.
Call us for a totally free 15-minute consultation with one of our specialists trained in sexual addiction in Mesa Arizona (480) 668-8301.