I Was Embarrassed By My Child

Photo: courtesy of author
kids and porn

Children are going to do things that have us question ourselves as parents. But it's not about us.

Computers were becoming the big thing when my children were growing up. I knew nothing, while they were learning. I did email and a few programs here and there but mainly it was being used for their homework and games.

The games were store bought and kid friendly — Roller Coaster Tycoon was one favorite.

As time went on, they grew more interested in the function of the computer itself. And and so it began, they outsmarted me.

As time went on, they got better and better and I went to them for the 'how to's' of this machine. Although I didn't know much,  I believed I was monitoring their use and assuring they were visiting appropriate sites. Until...

One day, I went get the mail and received my internet bill. On it, were additional expenses of $1,500! My heart sank to varying degrees. I was confused and scared.

Money scared me because I didn't have any.

I called the company and found out it was from a PORN website! They talked to me about firewalls and protection software and I was clueless about what they were telling me.

My stress levels maxed out and it's all I could think about. I was embarrassed, to say the least. Given the tender young age and me thinking I had things together, finally.

I needed to know more about firewalls and the ins and outs of this computer stuff so I could prevent it from happening again so I reached out to some parents I knew. Some looked at me apologetically and others appeared judgmental.

It was the judgment that my internal programming zeroed in on. In my world, I was keeping it all together and had things handled the way a good mom does. Something like this had to happen in order to point my insufficiencies and reminded me that I wasn't perfect even though I tried so hard to be.

This episode had me turn inward and make it all about me. "I" was a terrible mother. "I" felt so hurt and ashamed at that moment.

"What are their friends' parents going to think of me?"

"How, after all 'I've' done to be a good model, could he have done this?"

"How am I going to pay for this?"

Every bit of it was about me and it all started with my fears around money and my old programming. The old programming from my childhood was severely triggered by this. All that I had been told about myself, was vomited right before my eyes.

And I had no idea what to do with it or for that matter — I was being triggered.

I didn't take the time with my child and gently ask what happened like I wished was done for me. I didn't seek to find a reason that made porn become their escape. Escape from what?

"Are you under stress of some sort, or is something bothering you?"

My kids were all under 10. I didn't consider stumbling upon the site while investigating this cool machine.

No... I pounced. I pounced like a Lion the same way I was pounced upon as a youngster. I accused, blamed, shamed and berated my child, just as was done to me.

There was no room for explaining. My $1,500 bill was explanation enough. He was on a porn site and now 'I' have to pay for it!

Having the kind of mindset mentioned above does not help relationships with kids.

I found I harbored mistrust and a bit of resentment toward him for a while. I looked at him differently instead of looking at myself in the mirror and giving him what I lacked — compassion, understanding, and unconditional love.

I needed to find out why I was triggered. I needed to dismantle those triggers so if an episode like this ever happened again, it would be dealt with calmly and rationally and with life lessons in tow.

As it turns out, many years later, my son and I were driving and out of the blue, he brought up that incident. He told me he did not actively look up that site and went into detail about what happened.

Why didn't he tell me all this when it happened?

Because I didn't give him a chance, that's why. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. Me, me, me. It was all about me and how I was suffering and with no consideration for him.

I work with couples seeking newborn adoption. Most adopted children come with inherent challenges. To add to those challenges, the behaviors I displayed, can ruin them.

And by the way, I was adopted.

Suzanne works with prospective adoptive couples who have unresolved issues surrounding their childhood that will cloud their ability to parent. She helps them to be confident, loving parents to their child, and provide an environment where the child thrives. Reach out to her here for a free 'Confident Loving Parent' breakthrough session. You can also check out her free E-book, 9 (Little Known) Factors That Could Affect Your Adopted Babies Mental Health And What You Can Do To Prevent It.