Speaking about sex is considered a tabu in India. Nevertheless, due to the current situation among children, particularly teenagers, sex education for kids is considered important. So much so that sex education was also considered a must for infants and pre-schoolers.
Importance Of Sex Education For Kids
There have been different debates and discussions about the importance of sex education and whether it should be a part of the school curriculum. Some were against it, but most understood the importance of it, gave it a green signal. The sex education process among children, teach them about sexuality, changes in their bodies and everything they can learn before puberty starts. It is a sensitive topic and care should be taken when talking about it to children. Just as it can teach their body many important things, it can mislead them, too. The things discussed should, therefore, be age-appropriate.
Tips For Talking About Sex With Kids
Below are some tips to follow whilst talking about sex with kids:
1. Ask Questions and Listen
Stay ready to brace yourself to hear what your kid is telling you. Ask questions after hearing, instead of instructing, “what do you think about that?”And” how are you feeling?”When she mentions something about a friend, ask your child if she’s concerned about her. Tell her how she would act in a case like this?
2. Don’t Panic
Don’t worry if your child asks you for something related to sex. A child who asks about sex doesn’t necessarily mean she’s or needs to be sexually active. Instead, you can feel lucky she feels comfortable talking to you about it. Make sure you don’t avoid the question but answer it frankly without a hitch. Provide your child with just accurate information. If you don’t know something you need to be honest enough to tell her that and work towards finding the information you need. Before replying, however, ask her to explain why she wants to know or why she’s curious.
3. Converse Positively
You will refrain from talking to your child about sexuality negatively. Those early life experiences will stay embedded in your child’s mind decades later when she becomes an adult. As your child grows up, a positive message from you will go a long way towards developing a positive approach. When sharing the good side of it, however, remember to tell her about the possible risks and dangers associated with sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy, if care is not taken.
4. Debunk Myths
Always share the information that is true. In the event of myths like kissing a boy or holding hands might get her pregnant, you have to debunk her.
Give Sex Education To Kids According To Their Age
1. Age 3 to 5
This is the period when a child starts to get to know its body. When your child starts pre-school, she’ll hear about the gender and be curious to know what the difference is between the boy and the girl. They may even brush her own, or show interest in the private parts of other children, out of curiosity. Don’t worry though when you see your little one doing that. Explain gently to her that doing so is not right, and turn her attention to some toy or other tasks.
2. Age: 6 to 9
Your child is probably more familiar with body parts at this point than when she was a toddler or an infant. You will start teaching your child how to protect against sexual abuse. Teach her that although covering herself up while in public is necessary, nothing is shameful about her body. Teaching her how to take a bath, particularly cleaning her private parts by herself, is mandatory. Explain the importance of that, too.
3. Age: 10 to 12
A child becomes either too shy to talk about sex-related issues or may become more curious to know about them at this point. It’s crucial to get your child up for puberty by educating her about the physical, hormonal, emotional changes. For example, you can speak about the menstrual cycle with your girl child. Once she meets her first time that won’t scare her or get her panicky. This will also brace her for the daily cramps of the stomach or body discomforts typical during the monthly cycle. Warn your child about porn and its effects. Let her know that you are always open to discussions about puberty, sex-related issues, or anything she explores through newspapers, books, and the internet, or even peers.
Sex education provides information for children required to understand their bodies in a positive way. Considering that sex education should best begin at home, parents should let go of all their inhibitions and try to grow a child with not only a healthy body but also a healthy mind.
Also Read: Top 9 Pregnancy Sex Myths, Debunked