I caught my oldest looking at porn only slightly older. He had sneaked the laptop in the middle of the night.
We had a long discussion about normal and abnormal, healthy and diseased genitalia because if he’s old enough to look at porn (thanks, neighbor’s kid, for telling him about how to find it!) he’s plenty old enough to see orifaces oozing with STDs next to his mother.
We also talked about the exploitative nature of pornography and the real, ugly reasons women and girls that choose to partake in it, the cycle of sexual abuse and exploitation that is so common in the backgrounds of people who enter the sex trade, and the continuing damage that it does to these women, often repeated over generations. By viewing pornography, you take part in this abuse, in whatever small way. Without customers, the industry and all it’s ugliness wouldn’t exist. We also talked about how this dirties relationships with your wife, when the time comes.
We have home-written spy software on all our computers that can’t be circumvented without leaving obvious signs. That was the last time he did that, at least at our house.
Before the internet, all the boys leered over National Geographic, if they couldn’t get their hands on anything more graphic than that. It’s just so available now.
Anyway, I’m more concerned that you think it’s appropriate for an eleven year old to have a girlfriend! I’d have put the kibosh on that instantly. He may not be able to get up to much right now, but there were two girls pregnant in my FIFTH GRADE class. You’re sending the message that boyfriend/girlfriend is normal and healthy for a child of eleven. It’s not. It’s a pseudomature behavior that indicates a very poor future outlook.
The endgame of having a girlfriend is either to have someone for romantic sex or someone for marriage, depending on your worldview. That’s it, once everything else is stripped away. Neither is something an eleven year old should be spending significant brain cells on yet.
If you feel that your child is morally immature, which he clearly is or he wouldn’t go after a girlfriend at 11, it’s even more important that it’s made clear that they’re not in any position to be ready for this kind of relationship.
I’m equally concerned that your child had the capability of calling anyone at 3am. He has his own phone? And it’s not on lockdown when not required for safety?
The fact that your child is already disobedient and rebellious is also of serious concern. There’s a phrase that I use: I can’t make you do it, but I can make you wish you had. Find out what makes him wish that he had. Everything beyond sufficient food, basic clothes, a bed, and a toilet can absolutely be lost, and only a decent participant in the family structure gets to enjoy other parts of family or communal life. He should have daily chores (15-20 minutes is appropriate for the age) as well as school performance expectations and basic respect to get more than that.
All in all, it seems like you treat your son as if he’s much older than he actually is when he’s really quite immature for his age. He needs far less freedom even when he is being good because he doesn’t need to be given so much rope that he’s doomed to hang himself! There are many 11 year olds that would abuse unrestricted phone access, for instance. Probably more that would than wouldn’t. They’d mostly be smarter about it than your kid was, is all, because they have the maturity for sneakiness. I’m confident that mine wouldn’t, but I’m equally confident that they would be watching movies at 3am, given the chance, at least sometimes!!!! Don’t give you kid more freedom than he can handle. You’re not helping him when you do.