Parents! What would You do if you Found out Your child Masturbates?
By moronidenovo
5/25/2012 5:08:37 PM
I think it's safe to say most of us on this site started Masturbating in our teenage year. Your body is changing and sometimes parents aren't very good about giving the "Talk" so evidently we discover Masturbation. I personally wish I never did "discover" masturbation. The guilt I had prevented me from being confident in the church. I missed out on a lot of spiritual growth. I do wish my parents talked to me about Puberty and specifialy Masturbation, maybe I wouldn't have that issue at all and I would be a better person.

So my question to parents out there is, What woul you do if you found out one or more of your children masturbates. This does not include Pornography at all only Masturbation. Would you scorn them? If it was a boy, would the wife let the father handle it, vice versa if it was a girl who masturbates?

Would any of you parents out there take it as far as addiction recovery meetings? What if the child refuses?

the reason I want to know what parents would do is because I feel that if parents were more open about this topic, there would A LOT less people with Porn addictions because they turn to the Internet for information. I heard a good quote that said if they don't learn it from Parents they will learn it from friends. I wouldve liked to have learned about Puberty and Sex from my parents. So my last question is How far do you Parents go when talking about Sex and Masturbation?


What can parents really do?    
"Personally, I think it's unlikely that you "wouldn't have that issue at all" and you "would be a better person" if your parents talked to you about masturbation. What exactly would they have told you that would have prevented you from becoming addicted to it?

My dad had trouble with masturbation, and in an attempt to inoculate the family against the disease, he began talking to all of us boys about masturbation when we were quite young. Our family has been quite open and honest about this topic for as long as I can remember, but that didn't prevent me or my 3 brothers from becoming addicted (all of us).

However, what it HAS done is made us all very honest, open people. Our wives know about our struggles, and they don't hate or resent us for it. They help us and work with us. Finally, I believe that honesty and openness in my family has helped me to overcome the problem eventually, after MANY years. But, unfortunately, it did not PREVENT the problem.

You cannot PREVENT your children from making mistakes. They WILL make mistakes. Big ones. Even Nephi did not say, "We talk of Christ, we preach of that our children will never sin." He said, "that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." In other words, Nephi knew "our children" would sin. So, we talk of Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, so that our children may know how to repent and gain forgiveness and freedom from their sins.

In other words, the focus should not be on, "Son, don't sin! Let me tell you about sin so that you never do it." The focus should be, "Son, let me tell you that sin makes you sad and unhappy. Please avoid it. But when you do sin, know that I am here for you, and so is Jesus. HE loves you, and HE can make everything better, if you learn to run to Him and trust Him."

Now to your questions, what if I found out my child masturbates? How far do I go when talking about sex and masturbation?

My kids are still small, but we talk about sex every couple weeks, it seems. Not on purpose, it's just a natural part of language in the family. It comes up in movies, it comes up when discussing where babies come from. It comes up when my wife and I discuss LDSAR and addictions in general, which we do very frequently, and we never hide ourselves from the kids when we do.

Our kids know what sex is. They know what their body parts are. We've told them it all feels good. We've also told them that their parts are private and no one should touch them (including relatives). They are in control of their bodies. They know that if they see a naked picture or if someone tries to touch them, they are not in trouble. They should come talk to us about it. We've told them what sex is for and when it is appropriate. We've told them that touching themselves can be addictive, and they have a general idea of what addiction means, because we talk about all other kids of addictions.

We talk about all of this in the context of eternal families. My kids know that the only place on earth you can be sealed to your family forever is the temple. They saw Kate and William get married. They were awed at the show of a real-life prince and princess being married. But my kids understand that THEY are princes and princesses. The temple is the only place where they will be anointed to become a king or queen. It is the only place where they will be promised a kingdom and throne. My kids know that they came to earth to get a body, and that their body belongs to them. They know that bodies are sacred and special, and they know that sex is something you do after you are married in the temple, so that your own little kingdom can be started correctly, with princes and princesses who are sealed to you.

We talk regularly about all of this, and my older two children (who are not yet 9) could tell you anything I just wrote, but they probably wouldn't, since we also tell them that talking about sex is just something we talk about only within our family, and they shouldn't talk with others about it.

So, when one of them masturbates, I hope they come tell us, because it's something we have talked about. And, as we have already told them, they will not be in trouble. We will be grateful they chose to be honest and open. That's important. I hope I will ask them how they feel about it. If they feel sad, I will be sad with them and express my love for them. The first time or two, I will probably tell them it's not a big deal if it happens once in a while; they may want to say a prayer and go do something else. (I don't want them to focus on it or worry about it or "scratch that itch until it bleeds.") I will invite them to please come talk to me again if it happens again. If they come back several times, I will continue to ask how they feel about it. If they want to stop, but they think it is hard, I will ask them if they want my help, and then we will talk about all of the things that help.

At least, that is the direction I think I want to take. It hasn't happened yet, so I don't know truly what I will do yet.

Perhaps more important for me is to focus on how I treat my kids when they make ANY other mistakes, not just this kind of mistake. When my kids whine at the table, yell at mom, destroy a toy, disobey parents, make a mess, hit and fight, etc., etc. It's all the same. I need to focus on being on their team. I need to focus on loving them and supporting them. I need to focus on how their inappropriate actions make them feel. I need to ask them if they want help stopping. I need to constantly remind them that, "It's OK when they make mistakes. That is what we have Jesus for.""
posted at 13:08:55 on May 26, 2012 by beclean
awsome answer    
"I absolutely loved what you wrote BeClean. I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner, Memorial weekend was busy.

I wasn't talking about being "addicted" to Masturbation. I was talking about Pornography. I have been exposed to Porn before my addiction to it, but I could easily reject it because my spirit was so strong. But the guilt and shame from Masturbation tore that wall of protection. I didn't know what it was, what it meant, if I was the only boy in the world with that issue. My parents never talked about sex, so consequently my burning questions turned to the Internet. That's what lead to my Porn use and really broke down that wall. It was slow, starting with blogs and stories, but got worse over time. I soon moved to erotic stories, tose sites had pic here and there, then I woul look for pictures. Then short videos. The actual soft porn. Of course by then I decided why not anythhing since I already crossed the line. A teenagers curiosity is so dangerous on the internet, especially when parents won't talk about sex.

I know in the LDS.COM website it says Parents should talk to their kids about masturbation, and to tell them not to use tose powers. It would be awsome if we didn't rigt? But we are just kids and things happen. That's why I started this blog, because of course tell your kids to not do it, but what if tthey do. It's not as simple as just stopping, as we all know. Try to remember when you were a teen, hormones raging and all of the girls look amazing. Once you masturbate, it's an experience you can't just stop. I think bishops understand this and that's why they're not so hard on teenagers. But yes I think te best thing you can say to your children, is I'll be here for you (without judgement)

you say you talk to your children about sex, that's so cool. My parents have never talked about sex to us, so it's super awkward. I don't know if you realize wat you've done for them, the trust you've built and comfortable level is strong. I'm glad you don't plan on scolding them; an acutal conversation will go a lot further than sharp languange.

yyour approach, if they masturbate, definitely has the right idea. The only thing I would say is to be careful of making them come to you everytime they slip. The reason I say is because when I first masturbated, I did it everyday for months. I didn't want to, I fought against it really hard but my body was 100% against me. Adults forget the amount of hormones we have during Puberty. So, if one or more does start to masturbate, be careful of making them come everytime. It can drive a wedge because they might start lying because they don't want to disapoint you and so it can ruin the relationship. Instead, I would say do some type of meeting everyone few months or so, and say how are you doing.

a loving approach wil always be appreciated by your kids. The yelling and stuff is different, because I think that's about respect and kids should always have respect.

thanks for thhe comments BeClean, I hope other parents see and learn from it."
posted at 16:07:21 on May 30, 2012 by moronidenovo
Reporting to me every time they slip...    
"Good comment, Moronidenovo.

When I think about it, I never intended to say I would ask my children to report every slip up to me. What I meant to say was I would be there for them, if they WANTED my help, and if they WANTED to tell me their failures.

But, actually, I'm a bigger believer in reporting successes AND failures. Mostly successes. In other words, when my children come to me for help on this issue, I will ask them to focus on their daily prayers, scripture reading, and journal writing. If they ask me to actually help them with this issue, I will ask them to report THOSE successes to me. And, whenever they want to tell me that they have been clean, I will encourage them to tell me.

The key, in my mind, is whether my children understand that what they are doing is painful to their spirit. If they understand that, and they want to stop, and they are doing what they can do to build their testimony, then I will try to be nonjudgmental and helpful. Eventually, the Savior will rescue them. I can't."
posted at 16:25:54 on May 30, 2012 by beclean
part of life    
"I believe its part of life, if the kid wants to, they should go ahead, but its private I would not want my child to tell me if they masturbate, if they want to, go ahead, it feels good, and every teen does it eventually. To me, it is not a sin. It PART OF LIFE. GET OVER IT. Stop getting in ur child's business. Its personal if they want to masturbate or not. Who cares, its not a big deal. Having sex however is a completely different story, I would hope my child would let me know if they are starting to have sex so I could help them stay protected. But masturbation is a choice, its not bad. And u parents who r saying u want ur child to tell u if they masturbate,that's something really personal, and I'm almost positive ur child would feel very uncomfortable about telling u. I definitely would have. Think about when u were young. U probably didn't tell ur parents, and if u knew ur parents were just as nosey as u are now, u would have felt uncomfortable."
posted at 03:45:25 on April 10, 2013 by Anonymous
Anon you are an idiot!    
"Kids may experiment a bit, but if they continue, before they know it they are no longer in control of their body / desires and these desires have been replaced by compulsion and like a drug addict their drug of choice has become masturbation or porn or both.

This addiction like any other addiction comes from Satan the master of addictions, and like alcohol or drugs can control and ruin your life.

Before you know it, addiction has robbed you of your joy, happiness, self worth, honesty, opportunities, relationships, love and your life or the life you could of had.

With my children we often talked about addictions. I also told them about the sacredness of sex and that like them they have been on loan to me from Heavenly Father and our Heavenly Father is really the owner of our bodies.

That is why he has given us guidelines. We are the dust of the ground. Everything belongs to God! I told them from a young age that Heavenly Father wanted them to wait till they were married before having sex and that no one was to touch them in their private places not even themselves.

However if I was your mother I would constaintly try to help you over come this addiction. I believe that once your addiction has become compulsive there is a lot of evil spirit intervention happening and this would be the area that I would try to address.

choice becomes masturbation or porn"
posted at 04:43:39 on April 10, 2013 by Anonymous
I would take a more passive approach    
"I would really encourage my kid to seek help. Praise him when he is seeking help and try to work with him if he is not. I would try to get him to work with the bishop but I would not make him as he has to make the commitment to try to stay clean. I cannot watch him 24/7 he has to quit when he wants to. I would tell him my story about addiction and also his grandfathers and great grand fathers story. I would be open and honest with him. I would hope that he be honest with me back and be honest with his bishop.

But more importantly I would love him. I would love him for who he was and never discourage him. Such actions only make things worsts for addicts as it would show that I am not willing to help him."
posted at 18:26:22 on April 22, 2013 by Liberation
"Liberation is spot on IMO. I have a teenage son who struggles and this is the approach that we have taken."
posted at 21:02:18 on April 22, 2013 by Maddy

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"Just as the landfill requires dedicated work and attention, laboriously applying layer after layer of fill to reclaim the low-lying ground, our lives also require the same vigilance, continually applying layer after layer of the healing gift of repentance.…Our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, feel sorrow when we choose to remain in sin, when the gift of repentance made possible through the Atonement can clean, reclaim, and sanctify our lives. When we gratefully accept and use this precious gift, we can enjoy the beauty and usefulness of our lives... "

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