The mother-son relationship between Lori and Eric Doerneman drastically changed when Lori caught her son looking at pornography.
“My goal as a Catholic mom is to raise saints. I want my kids to embrace the cross, to love Jesus,” she said. “I thought I was doing a good job. I was doing everything I was taught to do. My children were totally loving, but…”
But, she didn’t introduce the topic of human sexuality into raising children, Lori said, “because I thought it would ruin their innocence. And I wanted to protect their innocence.”
At the time, Lori said, she didn’t consider discussing pornography with her children.
“I was teaching moral teachings. Why would I introduce anything immoral?” she said. “And…I knew that they would never choose that. There was no way. That was from the pit of hell. We are on this path, why would that enter?”
Eric, the oldest of eight children, praised his mother’s catechesis, but that didn’t stop the sexually-laced messages that are a part of modern life – especially on the internet.
“When you’re surrounded by this culture of sexual images you get curious,” he said. “And the porn industry wants lifetime users. The earlier you begin the more profitable it is for them.”
Eric said he had questions but felt he couldn’t ask his mother. “She had never talked to me about anything like that and she thinks I’m so moral.”
Innocent searching eventually became less innocent, he said.
“I could not talk to my parents because they cannot know I’m doing this,” Eric said. “If they found out I was doing something so despicable, they would think I was despicable.”
Lori said Father Sean Kilcawley, the director of the Office of Family Life for the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, explained in a talk that parents are in love with their children but that children, because of their activity in pornography, begin to disconnect with the parent.
“But the parent doesn’t understand,” she said. “And so this child has a second life. That dichotomy is so stressful for the kid.”
The turning point in Lori’s parenting and Eric’s ability to be honest about his hidden life began when she caught her son looking at pornography.
Eric praised his mother for not shaming him. “She said I could tell her anything – period.”
“I wasn’t sure what to do,” Lori said. “How do I shift my parenting? Obviously, this is an issue. I got more kids coming down the pike. I’m a researcher and I said, ‘This ain’t going to come into my family! I’m a momma bear.”
Lori began changing the way she parented and Eric became more comfortable in confiding to his mother. She, too, began sharing with him.
Eric said parents engender more moral authority when they explain that they, too, have sexual struggles.
“You are building that bond,” he said. “And it’s only built when you’re vulnerable.”
Parents teach their children to take their sins to God who will always respond with love, Eric said, adding that when parents respond as the Father does: “That’s when relationships are built.”

Porn easily accessible by children
Software available to parents to block sites
According to Bitdefender, a security technology company, children under the age of 10 now account for 22 percent of online pornography consumption among those under the age of 18.
That same age group accounts for one in 10 of the visitors to porn video sites. According to Fight the New Drug, an anti-pornography website, the sites most visited by children under 10 are “porn mega sites” that feature disturbing sexual activity.
In addition to having discussions with their children, parents can also install parental control software. The top rated this year by PCMag were Net Nanny 7, Norton Family, and Custodio Parental Control 2015.