Signs that a teenager is hooked on online porn: Tips for parents and teens

Parents can monitor their children’s online activity by using parental control software or checking their internet browsing history. Filters can sift out any adult content from the search results by scanning key words or links.. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Parents can monitor their children’s online activity by using parental control software or checking their internet browsing history. Filters can sift out any adult content from the search results by scanning key words or links.. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - One in two teens in Singapore have watched or read pornographic materials, a poll of 836 students aged 13 to 15 has found, with some as young as seven when first exposed to such content.

According to Touch Cyber Wellness, the main agency that gives online safety talks in schools in Singapore, these are a few signs that your teenager is hooked on pornography and tips on what you can do to help him or her. Teenagers, you can also take steps to protect yourselves.

1. Signs of addiction to online pornography

- Your child becomes restless, irritable or moody when interrupted or unable to continue using the computer. He constantly plans when he can next use the computer.

- Your teen’s school work may be affected because he is spending significant time online.

- They become more withdrawn as some may feel guilty or ashamed of themselves due to their secret pornographic viewing habits.

2. Tips for parents: How to try and prevent or stop children from accessing porn online

- Monitor your children’s online activity by using parental control software or checking their internet browsing history. Filters can sift out any adult content from the search results by scanning key words or links.

- Create an environment where your teens can to talk to you comfortably and voluntarily about their online activities. One way is to let them know that they can talk to you freely is reassuring them that you will not take away their privileges to go online.

- If your children still do not feel comfortable speaking with you about this matter, urge them to talk to a close relative or school counsellors. Get feedback from these adults later so that you can take precautionary measures at home.

3. Tips for teenagers: How you can protect yourself

- Tell your friends not to send any pornographic materials to you.

- Refrain from participating in lewd exchanges with friends.

- Delete all pornographic materials immediately.

- Move your computer and surf the Internet in a common area such as the living room.

- Subscribe to filtering services or softwares

- Confide in a trusted adult (parents/teachers/school counsellors) on what you do with the computer.