A quick look at the recent news on several shocking rape cases, allegations, and #WeAreTried movement to stop the menace makes it clear why children need to be taught about sex. Yes, it can be dreadful to have the “birds and the bees conversation” with your children. I mean, what is more, awkward than having to explain reproduction to your toddlers and teenagers. The truth is, the earlier you start the sex talk, the better it is for them to become responsible adults in society.
Don’t wait for your child to ask questions. And if you’ve had that conversation already, don’t assume it has stuck with them. From understanding consent to sexually transmitted infections to the reproduction system, here are important sex education facts to remind your children now and then.
- Teach them the anatomical terms and functions of their genitals.
Giving private parts nicknames or funny words is not exactly a form of lesson for children. Chances are that if you hear the words “penis” and “vaginas” right now, you are likely to grin in embarrassment or blush. Be honest and direct about the correct terms and functions of these parts. This will provide a level of comfort and confidence for the children to talk about sex. More importantly, to feel natural in their bodies as they grow older. It also helps to manage misinformation from peer groups.
- Outline the need for permission/ privacy.
They are called private parts for a reason. Explain to your children it is not ok to talk about a girl’s vagina at school or to whip out their penis in front of friends. Also, educate them that it is wrong for anyone who isn’t their custodian to touch them inappropriately. In the event of such, give them the no secret rule, which allows them to talk to you freely about sex.
- No means No.
Consent is everything. And it doesn’t have to be about sex alone. Let them know, if anyone asked to hug, kiss, or touch them, it is ok to say no if they want to and they also need to respect such an answer from the others too. No means No.
- Sex in the media
It is no news that we become what we watch. PG 13 and R-rated television contents are not far-fetched in the world of media fragmentation. Remind your children that most sexual contents portrayed by the media are not true especially those in teen movies. To further enlighten them on this, make sure to talk about the implications of having pre-marital sex such as unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. However, don’t forget to educate them on the importance of birth control techniques.
- Sexual intercourse does not mean love
During the teen years, it is normal to stay curious about sex and romance with the opposite sex. Discuss with your teens to never feel obligated to say yes to sex as proof of love. It is ok to wait for the right person or better, till marriage. Sex doesn’t complete or define who they are.
All of this might seem like a lot to discuss with your kids at first, but as soon as you build that culture of open communication and non-judgemental support, you’ll soon have them knocking at your door anytime they need to talk about anything of nature. And consequently, you’ll be saving them and yourselves from any awful eventuality.
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