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  #1  
Old May 1, '12, 8:14 pm
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admonsta admonsta is offline
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Default Adolescents and temptation

I'm a bit worried. I can't reconcile the idea that masturbation is wrong (I do not disagree with this), but as children go through puberty, the urge to do this becomes very strong. How does God expect a young boy approaching adulthood to resist these strong urges?

I am very happy to be proven wrong on this, and that it's not impossible for an adolescent (especially a boy) to remain chaste during these years. I have three boys, the oldest is 7, so I have a few years before I need to address this, but what experiences have you had with this subject?

It almost seems to me that it's impossible for a person to get to adulthood without committing serious sins.
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  #2  
Old May 1, '12, 11:53 pm
VeritasLuxMea VeritasLuxMea is online now
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

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Originally Posted by admonsta View Post
I'm a bit worried. I can't reconcile the idea that masturbation is wrong (I do not disagree with this), but as children go through puberty, the urge to do this becomes very strong. How does God expect a young boy approaching adulthood to resist these strong urges?
It seems to me it's a problem in many modern cultures (certainly in the West at least), because people are marrying at later ages, far divorced from the male's sexual peak.

This wasn't always the case in the past, nor is it the case in certain modern non-Western cultures.

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It almost seems to me that it's impossible for a person to get to adulthood without committing serious sins.
Yes, probably. But we are all sinners.
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  #3  
Old May 2, '12, 3:50 am
SusanneT SusanneT is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

Quote:
Originally Posted by admonsta View Post
I'm a bit worried. I can't reconcile the idea that masturbation is wrong (I do not disagree with this), but as children go through puberty, the urge to do this becomes very strong. How does God expect a young boy approaching adulthood to resist these strong urges?

I am very happy to be proven wrong on this, and that it's not impossible for an adolescent (especially a boy) to remain chaste during these years. I have three boys, the oldest is 7, so I have a few years before I need to address this, but what experiences have you had with this subject?

It almost seems to me that it's impossible for a person to get to adulthood without committing serious sins.
My boys are young too but I do share your consern given that there are so many posts on the subject by men on the subject and my husband strong convictions. I guess you just have to help them avoid temptation, make sure they understand it's wrong and accept that none of us is perfect.
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  #4  
Old May 2, '12, 5:05 am
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

Quote:
Originally Posted by admonsta View Post
I'm a bit worried. I can't reconcile the idea that masturbation is wrong (I do not disagree with this), but as children go through puberty, the urge to do this becomes very strong. How does God expect a young boy approaching adulthood to resist these strong urges?

I am very happy to be proven wrong on this, and that it's not impossible for an adolescent (especially a boy) to remain chaste during these years. I have three boys, the oldest is 7, so I have a few years before I need to address this, but what experiences have you had with this subject?

It almost seems to me that it's impossible for a person to get to adulthood without committing serious sins.
Just because a lot of people do it, does not make it right. In fact it is still sin, even if everyone in the world did it, because God tells us it's a sin to use our bodies in that way. I can't remember but I hope you are the dad of these boys, if not, your husband will have to take the lead.

1. Get your sons involved in physical activities. If they aren't into competitive sports, then start taking them hiking, canoeing, fishing, camping, etc. Guy stuff. Even doing yard work and washing the cars. Jogging. Self-defense. Etc. Physical activity that tires the body makes boys' hormones work harder than turning to masturbation. When you start talking to them about sex, mention that hard physical activity will help them resist temptation.

2. Stay close to your sons, and start talking to them about how YOU handle temptation. When you see a scantily-dressed woman, what do you do? Teach them to turn their eyes away. Remind them that God made them visual for a reason and that reason is NOT to undress women and consider sexual acts in their minds. Teach them SELF CONTROL above all!

3. Get the latest blocking software and keep it updated, make sure porn doesn't make its way into your house. But you can't just leave it at that, you have to TEACH our sons that porn is wrong, exploits and ruins women and men, and that it is endemic in our society but a HUGE trap for men. If you just block the porn, and don't give them the reasons why you are blocking it, they will find it when they are away from your house.

4. Teach them that God expects them to save their sexuality for marriage. It's not easy these days, when society has extended the young adulthood phase until the mid to late 20's! Young people have to stay pure for about 1/4 of their entire lives, which is indeed, a lot to ask. In previous generations, a young man could be married and supporting his family by age 21 or 22; now he's just graduating from college and may be starting grad school or starting his first post-college job. But still, however hard it may be, God wants us to bond only with our wife or husband. Use the tape analogy to explain why bonding with people outside of marriage is a bad idea. Get a piece of packing tape and stick it to the boy's arm. This is how your body bonds with a female, the sticky part of the tape represents the hormones that are released during sex, that make you stick to her. Assume you aren't married. Then remove the tape. You broke up. Stick it to his arm again. Next partner. Again, hormones, but now you have a history with the first person that your emotions and psyche remember. So the tape doesn't stick quite as well. You beak up again. Remove the tape. Next time you find a partner, the tape hardly sticks, because your emotions are now warped and you are protecting yourself more than you are sharing in trust and love.

You will have to explain exactly how God wants us to use our sexuality. It may not be easy to do this, but as a dad, it's your job to raise your sons to be Godly men. Step up and do this job.
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  #5  
Old May 2, '12, 6:17 am
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SurlyMermaid SurlyMermaid is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

Thanks for the thread! We have two soon-to-be-teen boys at home.
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  #6  
Old May 2, '12, 9:13 pm
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admonsta admonsta is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

Juliane, thanks for such a detailed response. I'm not the dad, I'm the mum. Their dad is about to join the CC in a few weeks.

He told me that he never was troubled by masturbation, but he was very keen to find a girlfriend (if you know what I mean). God had other plans for him, however, and he missed out on all the very 'willing' girlfriends his mates got, and now he is mine, all mine and nobody else's .

I guess I should talk to my husband about how he should teach the boys, but I suspect that most of it will have to come from me, well at least the spiritual side of it. He can set a good example and give them practical advice, share his experience, but he may be lacking in his ability to explain the Catholic position, being still quite new to it himself.

I'll print out your answer and file it for future reference.

I spoke to my mum about this last night and she said that the urges that boys get are not so strong that they can't be resisted. That put my mind at ease somewhat.
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  #7  
Old May 3, '12, 2:20 am
VeritasLuxMea VeritasLuxMea is online now
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

Quote:
Originally Posted by admonsta View Post
I spoke to my mum about this last night and she said that the urges that boys get are not so strong that they can't be resisted. That put my mind at ease somewhat.
Pffftt!!! I'm sorry but what expertise would your mum have on this given that she was never a little boy?

Trust me, unless a young boy has low testosterone, it can be painfully difficult to resist.

You need to know this because if and when you have a boy that stumbles on this matter, it would be unfair to be surprised by it!

Sin is not good, but we all sin, and this is a very common sin for adolescent boys. Please remember that if it ever happens.

Also, if I can make one suggestion - make sure to focus on the positive aspects of sexuality as well. Don't make it a shameful thing, which many Catholic parents have a tendency of doing! Make sure it is understood that in its proper context, it is a gift from God. Thanks!
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  #8  
Old May 3, '12, 3:01 am
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28562 28562 is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

Quote:
Originally Posted by admonsta View Post
I spoke to my mum about this last night and she said that the urges that boys get are not so strong that they can't be resisted. That put my mind at ease somewhat.
Sorry to unease your mind again, but this is simply not true. It would take an incredibly strong young boy to resist the temptations. IMO, most of us are not strong enough until later in life to really, really stand up for ourselves...especially against someone as powerful as Satan.
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  #9  
Old May 3, '12, 8:47 am
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

Quote:
Originally Posted by admonsta View Post
Juliane, thanks for such a detailed response. I'm not the dad, I'm the mum. Their dad is about to join the CC in a few weeks.

He told me that he never was troubled by masturbation, but he was very keen to find a girlfriend (if you know what I mean). God had other plans for him, however, and he missed out on all the very 'willing' girlfriends his mates got, and now he is mine, all mine and nobody else's .

I guess I should talk to my husband about how he should teach the boys, but I suspect that most of it will have to come from me, well at least the spiritual side of it. He can set a good example and give them practical advice, share his experience, but he may be lacking in his ability to explain the Catholic position, being still quite new to it himself.

I'll print out your answer and file it for future reference.

I spoke to my mum about this last night and she said that the urges that boys get are not so strong that they can't be resisted. That put my mind at ease somewhat.
Your mother...is a girl! How would she know?? Some boys have an easier time resisting the temptation. Others struggle mightily. Your mum is also coming from a time before computers and all the porn that is easily found. She underestimates what males go through these days. What about all the barely-dressed women walking around in public??

Please get your husband involved. UNLESS he thinks masturbation is no big deal, and then...it's going to be tough. You're just not going to be able to discuss this with your sons after a certain point in time. They will be MORTIFIED to have their mom know that they have been tempted or have masturbated. Dad, he's a guy, he can talk to them about it.

I had to talk to my sons about sex, so I know what you will go through. When their dad should have stepped in and taken over, they got nothing else. It's not ideal. Does your husband at least support what the Church teaches? I mean, you don't want them to feel totally abnormal for being tempted, but "no big deal, everyone does it" isn't the right tone either.
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  #10  
Old May 3, '12, 5:37 pm
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admonsta admonsta is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealJuliane View Post
Your mother...is a girl! How would she know?? Some boys have an easier time resisting the temptation. Others struggle mightily. Your mum is also coming from a time before computers and all the porn that is easily found. She underestimates what males go through these days. What about all the barely-dressed women walking around in public??

Please get your husband involved. UNLESS he thinks masturbation is no big deal, and then...it's going to be tough. You're just not going to be able to discuss this with your sons after a certain point in time. They will be MORTIFIED to have their mom know that they have been tempted or have masturbated. Dad, he's a guy, he can talk to them about it.

I had to talk to my sons about sex, so I know what you will go through. When their dad should have stepped in and taken over, they got nothing else. It's not ideal. Does your husband at least support what the Church teaches? I mean, you don't want them to feel totally abnormal for being tempted, but "no big deal, everyone does it" isn't the right tone either.
My husband agreed to raise the kids Catholic when we married and he has been true to his word since then. He is going through a very good catechesis at the moment, so he is in no doubt about the Church's position in these matters. I don't think he will go against it (he has taken a long time to decide to become Catholic because he wants to do it only if he really intends to follow it). I guess I need to work out how to talk to my husband then.

Thanks everyone.
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  #11  
Old May 3, '12, 8:04 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

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Originally Posted by admonsta View Post
My husband agreed to raise the kids Catholic when we married and he has been true to his word since then. He is going through a very good catechesis at the moment, so he is in no doubt about the Church's position in these matters. I don't think he will go against it (he has taken a long time to decide to become Catholic because he wants to do it only if he really intends to follow it). I guess I need to work out how to talk to my husband then.

Thanks everyone.
Good. I will add you to my prayers (I think I am praying for everyone on CAF!)

Your husband sounds like a very good man. I think he's going to do fine, but yes, you two do need to talk about this. It's possible that you can play a role in their sexual/chastity education, it does depend on the boy. Some boys are OK with mom knowing stuff, many are embarrassed. Do what you can while you can. But your husband needs to demonstrate how to treat women, by how he treats you. And that respect will filter over to their sexuality and chastity as well. It's really all of a piece.
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  #12  
Old May 4, '12, 4:50 am
KCT KCT is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

It's impossible to *always* resist temptation, but we have the sacrament of confession when we fall.
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  #13  
Old May 4, '12, 6:20 am
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SurlyMermaid SurlyMermaid is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

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It's impossible to *always* resist temptation, but we have the sacrament of confession when we fall.
Needed that today!!! (Well... everyday.)
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  #14  
Old May 4, '12, 3:28 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

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Needed that today!!! (Well... everyday.)
I cannot wait until tomorrow morning! 10 a.m.!

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  #15  
Old May 6, '12, 3:15 pm
DhuAlQarnayn DhuAlQarnayn is offline
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Default Re: Adolescents and temptation

Your sons will sin. Every day. You sin every day. The priest who hears your confessions sins every day. The pope sins every day. Just be the best mother you can be to your children and the rest will work out the way it's supposed to work out.
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