Discussing safe-sex with your child

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All children have sexual feelings. These feelings are a normal part of growth and development.

Talking about sex can be awkward, but the earlier you start the discussion, the better prepared your child will be to make safer decisions about it. Also your child may be better able to deal with peer pressure and media influences as he or she gets older.

If you are unsure of how to begin such a conversation, use everyday situations as an icebreaker. Use examples on TV or a teen’s pregnancy to start a discussion. If you wait for others—friends, school staff, or another adult—to address sex, you do your child a disservice.

Movies, TV, music lyrics, music videos, websites, and more can affect how your child thinks and behaves. Talk to your child about how the media can have an impact on him or her. Be aware that children have easy access to many websites with sexual or pornographic content. Keep the computer in a shared area where you can see what your child is doing online.

Talking to your son or daughter about sex

Whether they are sexually active or not, children need help to make responsible choices about sex. Talking about sex does not encourage sexual activity in children. Some studies show that talking openly and honestly about sex can prevent teenage pregnancy.

The best time to begin the discussion about sex is when your child is in primary school. If your child is curious about how babies are born, please don’t tell him/her that babies just grow, rather explain in a slightly modified manner how an egg turns into a baby. A good way to start is to admit that talking about sex may be awkward, but that your child should not ever be afraid to ask you questions. Discussing sex and sexuality with your child is not a one-time conversation, though. As he or she grows and matures, your child naturally has questions about sexuality. The more you can give guidance, the better prepared your child will be to make responsible decisions.

Discussing sexual abuse and rape

Sexual abuse is any type of sexual activity that is done against a person’s will. It can be non-violent abuse (such as being forced to look at sexual pictures), unwanted or forced sexual touching or violent sexual assault (such as attempted rape or rape.) The attacker may be a stranger, someone you do not know well, a close friend, or a family member.

Talk to your child about the following:

  • Avoid places that are secluded. Go where there are other people, where you feel comfortable and safe. Don’t go to a date’s home or invite him or her to yours. These are the places where most acquaintance rapes (date rapes) occur.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel vulnerable, you might be. For example, avoid parties where boys greatly outnumber girls.
  • Don’t be afraid to be rude. If a situation feels wrong or you start to get nervous, confront your date immediately or leave as quickly as possible.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. They compromise your ability—and that of your date—to make responsible decisions.
  • Go on a group or double date. Especially at first, dating in groups may be more comfortable and less risky. When children are with friends who are trustworthy, they tend to be safer, even when they break rules.
  • Don’t keep secrets. As a parent make it a point to be transparent with your child right from the beginning about sex, which will automatically make you their confiding ally if ever anything goes wrong or if they need to know anything.

And  above all if you are matured enough, rather, better be matured enough to tell your kids about safe sex practices, Yes, it sounds a little crazy but as we always say “prevention is better than cure”.

 

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