Today is Worlds AIDS Day, despite living in the 21st century there are so many myths surrounding the most distressing disease in the world. We are still hush hush about sex. It is imperative that we talk to our children about sex. We make them aware about the possible health hazards that irresponsible sexual relations could bring, both physical and mental.
Gone are the days when we spoke about birds and bees (I don’t even know the real story behind it). Children are inquisitive about everything around them, with them being exposed to so much information owning to easy internet access and media, its important that we make sure a lot of that information comes from the parents. It is also important to be well informed before imparting that information to your children. So best is to read up as much as we can.
Once your children are at the brink of teenage, their hormones would naturally make them curious about their bodies and sex. Their hormones are confusing them enough from the inside; at this time parents should be accessible for them to talk with. Its better that they get informed and concerned information from parents rather than getting half baked, often incorrect, information from their friends and other unreliable sources.
We are all heading towards a faster paced world, the moral sensibilities of the children of this generation would be vastly different from what we learnt as kids. Like we constantly update our phone apps, it’s important for us to also update the on-goings of the world as parents. We may not necessarily be on the same page as our kids with regards to our moral sensibilities and social propriety; we should make an effort to at least learn to read the page they are on. We can then mould our thinking with their contemporary thought process and dispense necessary information.
This is not a one time discussion, you may want to ease your child into this conversation by hinting at or making light of certain situations related to sex in front of them. Talking about sex with a parent is as terrifying a discussion for your child as it is awkward for you. Find a suitable and comfortable place within the house or go out for a walk or sit in a park. The more affectionate the setting the more easily this conversation would flow, so choose what suits you best. Also, its better to have this discussion on a one to one level, you can then inform the spouse about the conversation. Children may find it more comforting speaking with one parent at a time. Points that you can draw attention to:
- Sex is natural. Tell them it will happen when it has to happen, also it is a beautiful experience. There is nothing wrong or shy to want to know about it, or for that matter to want to experience it. Most children are made to feel ashamed of sex, that shouldn’t be the case. This would only increase their inquisitiveness and they would resort to dubious tactics to satiate that curiosity.
- Sex will happen. Tell them that sex will happen and when it happens it will be special. Teach them to wait for the right time and the right person. I am not sure if in this day and age we should talk to them about waiting until marriage, but we can definitely speak with them about that one person who they would like to share this special memory with for a lifetime. Tell them to wait till the time is right. Till they are mentally and physically matured enough to experience sex.
- To Be Responsible. Talk to them about being responsible, not only while choosing the person they would want to engage in a sexual activity with but when they do decide to go in that direction, they need safety. Talk to them about condoms. About all the ghastly STDs that there are and how they can save themselves from those. To be responsible as young men, if you have a son, about the young women they are with. To treat those women with utter dignity and respect. Similarly teach the young women, your daughters, to be confident of their bodies and that they have a right to say no.
- Sexuality. Talking about sex may not be restricted to just the act itself, but you can also breach the topic of sexuality. Ask them whether your children are comfortable in their skin. Let them open up to you and discuss any life altering confusion that they may have. Its better to be close to your children and be the first respondent for queries that impact a child’s subconscious than to be a distant spectator.
- You are always there. Assure your children that no matter what, you would always love them and be there for them. This assurance not only seeds a strong bond of trust but would also let your child be more responsible in their choices. In times of distress they would also look up to you and ask for help.
At the end of it all we want our children to be happy and safe. It’s also important for us to open up to them if we want them to open up to us.
Featured Image Courtesy: http://ngocc.org.zm/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/world-aids-day-event.jpg
- Srushti Rao
- December 1, 2016
- 3 Comment