The Sex Talk: LaVon and Bruce

"We had no clue that Colton was even curious about sex," LaVon says about her then 9-year-old son. "We were gone three hours. While we were gone, Colton got on the Internet. After we got home, my husband, Bruce, was on the computer."

"I went to Google and looked in the search words and saw ‘naked people' and ‘teen girls,'" Bruce says.

"Each Web site that he clicked to, I think, linked to
another Web site," LaVon says. The content was very graphic pornography.

"We asked him if he was playing on the Internet. He knew he was caught," Bruce says.

"Bruce and I spoke with Colton that night probably about three or four hours and just explained to Colton that the images he's seen were not normal," LaVon says. "He kept saying that he was a bad kid, and he felt like he's the only kid who's ever done this, and we just kept reassuring him, ‘No, we still love you.' If we knew that Colton was curious about sex, we would've definitely had the speech with him, explaining the anatomy of the woman and the man. Bruce and I would've made sure that our computer was locked. I for sure would not have left him home. I'm really concerned that this will affect Colton later in life, that he'll think maybe that was the normal situation that you would do with a girl, and he could possibly abuse his sister or any other girl by being interested in this. I would like to think that we did tell him the right things, but I don't know."

"You are now very concerned that this has now been indelibly etched in his brain and personality. What have you seen from him since this took place?" Dr. Phil asks LaVon and Bruce.

"He's very secluded emotionally. He doesn't like to talk about it," LaVon says. "We have to try to speak to him numerous times to try to pry anything out from him. We told him
at the time, ‘You're 9 years old. This isn't something that you should be thinking about. You know, remember football and baseball. Try to be a kid.' And he said, ‘OK, I'll try to forget about it,' but I don't know if that was the correct thing to say to Colton either."

"He got to some hard-core porn sites, right?"

"Very," LaVon says.

"And so now he has been exposed to these images, and Dad, you're concerned that this is going to sensitize him or flip a switch in him, right?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Definitely. I mean, you don't see that kind of stuff at 9 years old, and it doesn't affect you," Bruce says.

As for their four-hour conversation with Colton afterward, Dr. Phil says, in his opinion, that wasn't the right thing to do.

Dr. Chirban says, "Your son is very normal, I mean, he's expressing sexual interest. Now, it seems like that message was missed, and I think it's worth figuring out why. I would invite your child, particularly by 9 years old, to sit down, maybe with Dad, and look at an anatomy book and talk about who he is, really get that conversation going in some concrete ways on a physical plane. Talk about relationships, talk about emotions and feelings."

"He's a great kid," Dr. Phil tells them. "Y'all have done a great job in raising this kid, so you obviously have been loving and attentive parents, and then this thing popped up, so what we're trying to do is say, ‘What do we do now?'"

"I think biting the bullet, as you're suggesting, is really important," Dr. Chirban says. "Obviously, your reactions were very intense, and very extreme and very frightened. You love your kid, and you're afraid he's been damaged. That's the way you describe it. But you want to pull back before you have your chat with your kid, because your child has had his experience with this material. We don't really know in a normal way what he saw, what it meant, what he felt, what he thought."

"Let me say this to you, dad to dad," Dr. Phil says to Bruce. "Kids kind of roll their eyes or look away or whatever. That doesn't mean they are not listening. When I was talking with my boys at a young age about anything, I always found that if I sat down with them like this to have a conversation, they were like, ‘Oh, what now?' But if we went out and were, like, shooting baskets, or we were just walking down the street, kicking a can, where they didn't feel so focused on, then I could have the conversation and before I knew it, they were involved in it, where they don't feel so conspicuous. I'd let it cool for awhile, but the fact that he has seen that is not likely to trigger him acting out sexually against his sister or anyone else. I'd let this cool awhile, and then I'd shoot some baskets."

If you need help on talking with your kids about sex, pick up a copy of Dr. Chirban's book, What's Love Got to Do with It: Talking with Your Kids about Sex.