Success Story
By maddy
12/17/2014 12:53:53 PM
So the other day I caught my son looking at porn on the computer. After putting the kids to bed, I'd taken a shower and came downstairs to turn off the computer and saw him quickly ducking out of the room. I went and checked the history and sure enough. Seriously! I have three filters on there and he got by all three...Sigh. Anyway, the words of Dano42 were fresh in my ears from his post the other day (Total shout out to you man!) and so I called him back in the room. I told him how much I loved him in different ways for a few min and then asked him if he'd been on the computer. He said no. Then he sighed and said yes that he was sneaking minecraft. I laughed and told him that I knew that wasn't true but I wanted him to tell me the truth. He swore up and down that he was sneaking minecraft but that was it. So I said, well, I can see the the computer history that someone was on here a few minutes ago looking at pornography and if that was you I want you to know that I am not mad at you and you wont get in trouble. No matter what you wont get in trouble. My husband had come into the room by then and sat down with us. My son totally broke down. He started crying and saying, "I am such a bad person. I am a terrible person." We both put our arms around him and then we just spent the next little while telling him that he was totally normal and not bad. We assured him that looking at porn in no way changed the way we felt about him or even thought about him. I told him I expect him to make mistakes in life and that home and family are a safe place to fix those things. Poor guy was so shaken up. We kept it pretty short. Only about 30 min of talking and trying to build him up. My experience with dealing with addicts is the first impression with discovery is pretty important and it needs to be positive and loving. We just kept assuring him that he was totally normal to be curious about sex and naked people and that those feelings were good but we just knew that porn took those good feelings and turned them into confusion and negativity. He told me that he hated himself for looking at it and it made him feel so bad, but a couple months ago he had found it and he kept going back to it even though he hated himself for it. I asked him if he wanted us to help him not go back to it and he said yes so we said that we'd set a time up to talk about how he was getting around the filters so we could make things better and harder to get around. I could see the stress and fear fall off of him. He literally relaxed into a different person. After that he kept saying, "I love you so much mom. I really love you." It's been a couple days now and he just keeps saying, "I love you mom. You are the best mom in the world." I'd noticed that when he started middle school a few months ago that he had suddenly changed. He'd gotten that kind of ugly, teenager attitude with me. The past couple days it's like he is my little boy again.

Now I know and my husband knows that this is the honey moon phase of this process and it wont last. The real work is yet to come to help him develop the tools he'll need to not go back to it, but it was such a really positive and special experience. I figure that every one of my kids will go through porn issues to either a minor and major level. It is just the world we live in. I am so comfortable talking about pornography and masturbation it is almost comical.

One of the things that I told him was that guilt was a good thing because it is the emotion that teaches us to accept responsibility. And that is what allows us to change when we admit our problems. But shame is something I never, ever want him to feel. Guilt is a gift and tool from our Heavenly Father. Shame is a tool of Satan. Shame tells us that we are no good and we are bad and hopeless. I kept telling him that he shouldn't feel any shame at all. I want him to live a shameless life. I expect him to make mistakes. All. the. time. and I am not worried about that at all. I just want him to face up to his problems courageously and learn, grow and move on.

So....Dano42, your technique REALLY worked for me. Thanks bro! Such a good experience.


"I cried reading this. This is just awesome.

I have a couple of boys that are early teens or almost teens. While I'd like to hope that they won't discover porn or be tempted by it, I suspect it's going to happen at some point, and I can only hope I'm able to help my boys in a similar way."
posted at 19:56:42 on December 17, 2014 by rmww
"I am so scared for my 3 boys to grow up....I am so scared"
posted at 22:08:11 on December 17, 2014 by Anonymous
"The statistics on this is really clear...100% of kids will be exposed to pornography by the age of 15 if they have internet in the home. When I accepted that fact and started living my life without fear or shame of it, things have gotten better. Think of it like swearing. Your kids WILL hear swearing in their lives. They just will. Don't be afraid of that. Prepare them. Teach them. It is going to happen, end of story. We have to be calm and confident and show them that we are confident in them."
posted at 07:04:17 on December 18, 2014 by maddy
"P.S. The age 15 is just a top bar. The age is getting younger and younger. Both my kids first ran into it before the age of 12 and I had a ton of precautions in place. AND whether you have girls or boys makes no difference.

About 2 weeks ago my 7 yr old and I had a very casual conversation about pornography. I forget it's context because it was so seamless into what we were talking about, but my thought on it is that I want to be able to talk to them openly before, during and after they are exposed to porn. We have to ready for this and we have to make them ready for this.

In my opinion the greatest preparation to make, more important that ANYTHING else, is that our kids know that we love them unconditionally. If you want to make your kids porn-proof then the best method is to love them with joyful intensity. It wont change them being exposed to it, it may not ensure they wont dive in for a while, but it is our best shot at giving them the fortitude that will make the difference in the end.

Talking about this makes me feel so much of a connection to my Heavenly Father. He parents us KNOWING what we will see, do and go through. He is fearless. He is unmoving. He is love. He does not hesitate to allows us our choices though He offers us paths of protection. I just want to be like Him."
posted at 07:24:51 on December 18, 2014 by maddy
What a wonderful story.    
"seriously, you just made my week. I couldn't be happier for you."
posted at 07:37:38 on December 18, 2014 by DANO42
"I am totally remembering this. Things with my son are still so awesome. We are really close and can talk really openly. I love my kids and this crazy life."
posted at 02:30:09 on February 22, 2016 by maddy
Maddy - Your example totally blessed my family    
"So glad to hear that things are still awesome Maddy!

I forgot to tell you, but your story DIRECTLY helped me deal with issues in my own home. I felt strongly impressed to have a very open and direct FHE lesson with my kids several months ago. I know my kids are constantly being bombarded with various viewpoints on some tough subjects, and they are at a crucial age where they are forming their own opinions about these topics. I felt impressed that I needed to let my kids know EXACTLY where I stand on these issues. I ended up talking about a) gender and sexual preference issues, b) pornography and masturbation, and c) drugs, and then I followed it up with an emotional testimony of the atonement and repentance. I plead for my kids to come talk to us parents (either mom, or dad, or both) about anything they have questions on, and especially to let us help them deal with the mistakes they are bound to make during their teenage years. I promised that there is nothing they could do, and no mistake they can make, that will make me love them less. I just want to be here to help them.

A couple of days later, one of my teens came in to talk to me, and broke down and told me of some recent issues he'd had with pornography. I immediately thought about how you (Maddy) handled this with your son, and tried to take the same approach. There was absolutely no anger, no "you're in trouble", and no shaming - there was only love. I told him that his curiosity was totally normal, and nothing to be ashamed of, but that we need to keep it within the bounds the Lord set. I told him how proud I was for him coming to talk to me. Most importantly, I bore my testimony of the atonement, and how the Savior made it possible for us to overcome and be forgiven for the dumb things we do.

Overall, it was actually a great experience! This whole experience could have gone a different way if I had reacted with anger or frustration, but thanks to Maddy's example, this turned awesome for our family. What started with poor decisions by my son ended up becoming a bonding experience for my son and me, and an opportunity to feel the Savior's love and power in our family."
posted at 15:52:08 on February 23, 2016 by rmww
Addictions grow in the darkness    
"Hello everyone. This is my first post as I just joined a few moment ago. I've been free from my addiction to pornography and sexual acting out for 8 months now. I had been enslaved since I was 7 years old. I was exposed at an early age just as your son. Instead of turning to my parents and letting them know that i was viewing inapropoiate magazines at friends houses I kept it a secret. Pornography in the 80's and 90's wasn't what it is today. I started hiding and living a double life at a young age and this is how addictions thrive.

When we as parents are open, loving, honest and real about this topic then we can teach our children how to stay in light of the Savior. Our 10 year old son came to us last Monday night after we had a FHE lesson on pornography. Someone on the bus had showed him a picture from a magazine. He described to us that he felt dirty and really bad. He was crying and in tears as he told us how he was one of the 20%. (We had talked at FHE that 20% of kids see pornography before they are 10) Our family over the last 8 months has gotten real about pornography and more importantly addictions. I was addicted to pornography and masturbating at my sons age of 10. We have incorporated the 12 step program into our families life. As I go to meetings several times a week all the kids know where i'm going. We have daily conversations if need be about pornography, sex, masturbation, and addictions.

I know how destructive this addiction is and how alone and isolated you feel while in it. I thought my life was over 8 months ago when I made a full confession to my wife and priesthood leaders. The darkness has been replaced by light. Our addictions cannot grow if we allow the light of the Savior to shine on them. I love the Addiction Recovery Program. I love the Lord. I love my Wife of 17 years and our beautiful children. I'm grateful that the Lord snatched me back as he did Alma the younger."
posted at 16:37:05 on February 24, 2016 by SoberOneDay

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"In a decaying environment, the mind is the last redoubt of righteousness, and it must be preserved even amid bombardment by evil stimuli. Christ is competent to see us through, “for in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” As promised, He will make either “a way to escape” or a way “to bear it”."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987