Talking about the birds and the bees
My parents were conservative and talking about sex was almost taboo and we also didn’t have as much exposure as the kids do today. So, I grew up learning most of the stuff through friends in college, movies and magazines.
The other day I overheard 2 primary school children discuss among themselves. One of them was giggling and bullying the other – Do you know how you were born? Do you know that your parents did mmmm mmmm on the bed? How many kids do you want to have when you grow up?
It is not surprising as kids these days learn in primary school about reproduction in plants and animals and this arouses their curiosity. It is only natural that your child begins to ask you . And we parents who have not given it a thought are stumped for an answer.
Children today are flooded with sources about sex. Newspapers report cases of trysts of professors, politicians and civil servants with underaged children. The television, Google, youtube, MTV are all just a click away. So, if we as parents do not guide our children about the right attitudes and behaviours, then they may land up getting a distorted view from these external sources.
I believe that children should know the facts to make right decisions in life about when and with whom to have sex. It is also best that our children know about safe sex and grow up to be confident and comfortable with the changes they go through as they mature from kids to teenagers through adolescence. This is to protect them from exploitive sex, pregnancy and disease when they are still very young.
So, it is better to avoid beating around the bush and start educating your child about sex. There is no prescribed formula but many doctors and teachers have given good pointers on how to go about doing this . Here are some:
1) It would be good to make your child comfortable so if you have a daughter, it is better that the mother takes up the role and the father can take up the responsibility in case you have a son.
2) You can read a book on human anatomy and reproduction together and answer any questions that they may ask
3) According to the age of the child, you can do the education – it doesn’t need to have explicit details for the little ones but it is better to be clarify their doubts than confuse them
4) The topics of puberty, sex before marriage, sex-related diseases, prostitution , the use of protection can be explained .
5) Sex should not be however described as something dirty or taboo. The emphasis is that it is an act of consensus between very good friends who have decided to spend a lifetime together.
6) Talk to your child about love and friendship, talking, sharing, playing, holding hands and kissing as well as intercourse. Explain to them the difference between consensual sex and rape.
7) If it is still too embarrassing for you discuss with your spouse or friends to find out how they did the teaching.