“How do I help my child repent and work through setbacks?” Help for Parents (2021)
“How do I help my child repent and work through setbacks?” Help for Parents
As your child grows and develops, it’s likely that he or she will experience setbacks with pornography. You can teach your child to have remorse for mistakes, make restitution where needed, and seek forgiveness. As a parent, you may decide if and when you want to consult with a bishop, a Young Women president, or another trusted Church authority. See General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 38.6.13: “Personal counseling and informal membership restrictions are usually sufficient when helping a person repent of using pornography.”
Lasting change often comes by focusing on incremental changes rather than instantaneous results. As you strive to see your child as an eternal being with infinite worth, you can help him or her grow and make progress. You can help your child see value in the effort he or she is making rather than being discouraged by the setbacks that will come along the journey.
Encourage your child to keep a journal and to write down his or her thoughts, feelings, and hopes for the future.
Strive to support your child in all areas of his or her life. Rather than focusing exclusively on overcoming pornography, discuss how you can help your child develop additional qualities, attributes, and skills. For more ideas, read “Cheering Your Children On”1 and “Giving Kids a Growth Mindset.”2
With your child or as a family, read the story of Alma the Younger in Mosiah 27 and Alma 36. Ask a family member to draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On one side of the paper, your family could list what this story teaches about how to repent. On the other side of the paper, your family could list what this story teaches about the blessings of repentance. For more ideas, see “How Can I Support My Child in His or Her Repentance Process?”