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What's a mom to do?
By helpfrommom
5/4/2016 5:28:32 AM
After dealing with SA myself, and my spouse at different stages of life, now my son is getting into p0rn and M.
I have caught him with p0rn. I have "almost" caught him with M. But know he is doing it.

What to do?!!?! He is seeing the bishop, I am sure. What is my role? I am so confused. I know what these things can turn into and the price you pay. The destruction they create is immense. Any insight is good.

Comments:

Talk to him    
"I think your role is to be a mom. Talk to him; have an open and frank conversation with him about your concerns. If you feel comfortable doing so, talk to him about your experiences with SA and why you want to help him before it develops into am addiction, but at the same time let him know that if it already has, he is loved all the same and you will do what you can to help him.
Set YOUR boundaries; is he allowed technology in his bedroom? Are you happy with this? Have you made the decision that no pornography is allowed in your home? If so, communicate this, and give as much reason as you are comfortable giving.
However you handle it, loving communication is key. I hope it goes well."
posted at 14:53:09 on May 4, 2016 by Anonymous
Talk to him    
"I think your role is to be a mom. Talk to him; have an open and frank conversation with him about your concerns. If you feel comfortable doing so, talk to him about your experiences with SA and why you want to help him before it develops into am addiction, but at the same time let him know that if it already has, he is loved all the same and you will do what you can to help him.
Set YOUR boundaries; is he allowed technology in his bedroom? Are you happy with this? Have you made the decision that no pornography is allowed in your home? If so, communicate this, and give as much reason as you are comfortable giving.
However you handle it, loving communication is key. I hope it goes well."
posted at 14:53:13 on May 4, 2016 by Anonymous
Anon is right    
"Welcome fellow Momma and wife!

Yes to what Anon said!

I always ask myself, "What is my job?"

Your job is to be a Christ-like mother.

Your job is NOT to raise a Christ-like son.

Ok, I know that sounds weird. But I want you to think about it. REALLY think about the difference. I'll repeat it. You job is to BE a Christ-like mother, not to raise a Christ-like son. One is in your control, the other is not. Focus on your job, not your son's job. Trying to take over another person's job is not what this life is about...in fact if you think about it, in the pre-existance that was Satan's plan, not Christ's.

So now let's keep talking about your job. What does it mean to be a Christ-like mom? Well, it means that you follow Christ. So for all of us addicts and co-addicts it means that we get ourselves in recovery. We set the example.

As that relates to your son, I would suggest not hiding your process from him if you have the ability to be open with him. Share your journey as appropriate. There is nothing here to be ashamed of. Both my teenagers know about my husband and I's journey with addiction, ARP and recovery. We have been very open and honest with them. Both of them have indulged in porn and masturbation and we talk about without shame. It's ok. There is nothing here to freak out about. Does it ruin lives? Yep. But being afraid of that monster isn't going to help, so be courageous on this battle field. Stay calm. Be honest.

I LOVE what anon said about boundaries. God is a God of boundaries. He rules with mighty enforcement of boundaries! But boundaries are never, ever what you force the other person to do. Boundaries are what YOU do! He does not force us. He will never force us. He is the master of self discipline and ruling His stewardship. He never trespasses on our stewardship. We must follow His example.

What do you rule over? First, as we've said, you rule yourself. You control your thoughts, your emotions, your words, your attitude, your behavior, and your time. Next your rule your things. What are YOUR things? Well, your car, your electricity, your home, your money are all things that come to mind. These are the things that you can control. What does your son control? Well, he rules over his thoughts, his emotions, his words, his attitude, (sound familiar?) etc.... You have to respect his choices even if you disagree. Those are his and will never be yours. Don't try to touch them. Control yourself and honor him by allowing him to do the same. Teach him with example. That is how God parents us.

Choose love. Tell him you love him a thousand times a day. Show him your love him. If you catch him with porn, say, "Son, I love you so much. I don't want you to be ashamed. I believe in you that you will make the right choice. I love you. Please know I will always be here if you want to talk about it. I love you." That's it. No lecture. Nothing, unless he engages you to talk about it.

Of course there will be boundaries, but those will come in the form of actions. You don't really need to say much about that. Close down the electronics. If it is his electronics purchased with his own money or something like that then that is HIS domain. Cool. Shut down the router. That is YOUR domain. You can cut electricity to his room with the circuit box and put a lock and key on the box. You can take his door off his bedroom. You can confiscate things he is using to hurt himself. That is a-ok! And when he rails against you....which he will....then you say, "I love you so much. I know this is hard for you. I am here if you want to talk about it, but my rules are that if there isn't love in our conversation then we try again another time until we can speak to each other softly and with compassion. I am doing this because I love you and I want to protect you. I don't control you and I never will try to control YOU, but I do control my (electricity, home, time, money, etc, ...whatever you are using) and so this is the choice that I am making. If you want to talk about getting, (fill in the blank) back then I open to that conversation." If he engages appropriately then you set your terms. Let him try again and let him fail again if need be. Don't worry about how many times he fails. Just stay consistent. Start with an appropriate amount of time of 'grounding' 3 days, a week, or indefinite until he complies with your terms, whatever feels right to you. Just make sure you are willing to hold to your choice.

Offer him tools. Be accepting if he rejects them. The more obstinate or angry he gets, show him more love. Often anger means you touched a nerve and he is listening. It's ok. Just stay calm. Stay loving. If he's rude to you then say, "I love you so much. But that type of language hurts me. I also love myself so much that I wont stay where someone treats me like that. I'd be happy to talk to you when you are ready to treat me the right way." And then walk away. You control yourself. So set the boundary that you stay where there is kindness.

Let him suffer. You don't have to drive him places. Let him walk. Let him miss out on things. But show love. Natural consequences to addiction are the best way to change behaviors. Let him experience consequences and don't shield him, but offer empathy along the way. Stay connected.

Now...accept the fact that he may never stop looking at porn or obey the law of chastity the way you want him to. Does it matter? Well, yes, it matters very much. But does it change the way you feel about him? It shouldn't. Choose to not let it change anything. God loves us even though we are the vilest of sinners. Love your son the same way: Unconditionally. Tell him that if he agrees to listen to you. Tell him that if he chooses porn and sex and masturbation that it wont change anything in your relationship. Tell him that your heart belongs to him: No. Matter. What. This is powerful stuff for a kid to hear to know that he is limitlessly safe in your love. Say it and then prove it. Never show shame towards him. It's ok to cry for their pain. It's ok to suffer with them and empathize, But reject shame. Shame is poison.

One last tidbit of advice, when it comes to talking to him, always get his consent. Start conversations with, "May I share with you my thoughts?" or "Can I tell you about my experience?" Allow him to say yes, or no. A conversation without consent is a lecture and he will be turned off. If he says yes, then you have a much better chance of him listening to you. Let him choose. Give him the power.

Porn is bad. But isolation is worse. Disconnection is worse. In fact, porn-use often stems from feelings of isolation and then cycles and creates more and more the loneliness. Fix the alienation then you can kill porn where is starts. Don't treat the symptoms. Treat the disease. You may not fix porn in your son's life....that isn't your job. But you can connect with him. That IS your job.

The fact that he is willingly talking to the Bishop is a great sign. Your son is normal for looking at porn and masturbation. Every kid in this generation is exposed to it. Most will use it regularly. That doesn't make it ok, but it does mean that he and you are in good company. We are all here together. You are just brave enough to reach out for help. This is normal and there are solutions. Don't worry. He is probably doing 99% better than most kids his age.

Again, Welcome sister. I am walking this walk with you and I am glad you found us.
Maddy"
posted at 16:14:31 on May 4, 2016 by maddy
Surrender    
"These comments are all fantastic and I whole-heartedly agree with them.

However they are all missing one thing.

You need to teach your son, through your own example, how to surrender to Heavenly Father.

Teach him, through your own example, that when bad things happen, when we're stressed, tired, hungry, angry, lonely or bored , when we would normally run to our addictions, that we should run to God, surrender our weaknesses and our addictions and pray for help through Christ's enabling atonement.

I hope that last run-on sentence made sense. Step 1 of the ARP is to admit that we are powerless over our addictions and that our life has become unmanageable. Step 2 is to admit that God can heal us. Step 3 is to let Him.

You are powerless over your son and you cannot manage him. Help your son understand that when things get too hard, that he need not run to the shadows, but run to his Heavenly Father's arms. God can lead him and guide him as well as he leads and guides you and us all. As you surrender your worry, pain, grief and fear (even hopes and dreams) to God he will guide you to do the best things.

I am by no means discounting anything that has been previously shared. They are great ideas and should be implemented. Nor am I suggesting that we should wallow in our powerlessness.

I am simply suggesting that there is a being who (as inconceivable as it may sound) loves your son more than you do (you are after all only borrowing him :p ). Enlist His help and teach your son to do the same

" A conversation without consent is a lecture " - brilliant!"
posted at 04:42:07 on May 5, 2016 by Anonymous
What we've done so far    
"Thank you everyone.

Hubby and I have talked separately and together to him. We do have boundaries. He knows them. No porn in the home. we monitor internet access, phones, etc. and no kids have phone access to internet. All computers are in public areas.
I am sure he knows we love him.
We have and do express love daily. He is a sweet, kind kid. So loving, and aware of others needs. We express unconditional love. It is not attached to obedience or chores or anything else.

Thank you all for your comments. I appreciate it."
posted at 15:50:59 on May 8, 2016 by helpfrommom


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"Man has a dual nature; one, related to the earthly or animal life; the other, akin to the divine. Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions and slipping farther and farther into the realm of indulgence, or whether, through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choice he makes every day, nay, every hour of his life"

— David O. McKay