Signs of Continued Problematic Sexual Behavior

Understanding possible signs of problematic sexual behavior is an important part of helping your teen develop safe and healthy behaviors and of protecting other children. It’s important to be aware of behaviors that might signal a return or a desire to return to illegal sexual behavior. It should be emphasized that none of these behaviors means that a teen has already engaged in illegal sexual behavior. These behaviors do signal, however, that a problem might exist. Behaviors to be aware of include 

  • repeatedly breaking the rules during visitation and reunification;
  • a high level of interest in or possession of pornography;
  • highly aggressive behavior toward younger children;
  • the spending of large amounts of time with younger children rather than with adolescents his own age;
  • arranging to be alone with young children for extended periods of time; and
  • bribing young children to commit other types of inappropriate or illegal behaviors.

What do you do if you see signs of problematic sexual behavior? An adolescent will occasionally break a visitation and reunification rule, but, after being reminded, will be more careful about his behavior. If the adolescent continues to break the rules or demonstrate the other concerning behavior above, the parents should increase their supervision and contact the adolescent’s therapist and probation officer. An alternative plan may need to be put into place that provides increased supervision or a more secure placement. 

We have tried to discuss the questions, issues and problems that may come up for you, your teen, and your family. Other problems may come up while your son or daughter is in treatment. Be sure to discuss these with your child’s treatment provider. It is important that the provider have all of the information that can help your adolescent successfully complete treatment. 

Based on our experiences, we can tell you that there is hope for you and your family. Most adolescents complete treatment and do very well as they finish high school and go into young adulthood. We wish you and your family the very best as you take action to support your adolescent. 

Tips to Remember
1 Parents need to be aware of behaviors that might indicate renewed or continued problematic sexual behavior.
2 Increased supervision or a revised reunification plan may be necessary if the adolescent continues to break rules.