“Quick! Change the channel, not let anyone take a glimpse of the show” – Experienced this? Is this your response to a hushed topic like sex? Age inappropriate content is it?
Question is what is the appropriate age to talk about sex? When to tell the bird and bees story?
First, let us find out what is at stake here. We are living in Google age. All information (factual or deluded) is accessible without an age barrier. Besides internet, lifestyle changes provide to first hand information/experience (especially for metro teens). On the other hand, lack of sex education amongst the less educated (orthodox), remain the major cause of adolescent pregnancies, unfortunately inside wed lock. Believe it or not, everybody expect their kids to start a family of their own, yet most of them fail to provide education on how. The onus to provide correct and timely sex education to a child falls on the parents.
Again, what is the correct time?
Right time is when you are ready. Reasoning that child is not in appropriate age is just an excuse, for you not being able to put it in correct format to them. Do not underestimate your kidâ€™s brain capacity. If it can understand abstract things like ABC’s then it can understand sex too, given its put in words that exist in their vocabulary. We as parents fear that we would get them overly interested in topic, and then we would have to answer questions out of our comfort zones. Thinking about it, have you not seen kids ask for things out of limits? Wouldnâ€™t evading questions provoke them to fetch information from other sources? Would you rather have them understand the concept wrong? It is time now, come out of your comfort zone. Tempt children to discuss their minds on topics like sex.
Sure it needs prepping. Start with revisiting your own definition of sex and make it fit current age. Mock your TBD thoughts, using age appropriate language that both you and the child can understand. Anticipate questions and fetch answers. Find an apt time and open up a discussion. Be patient and non-judgmental about knowledge that child already has. Try to correct any piece of misinformation, instead of finding source of information. If any unanticipated questions arise, do not be shy to answer them. If you do not have answers, tell that you will find out. Keep initial discussion short (not too short) to a logical break point. Setup a follow-up session. Don’t break abrupt. Do not overload with information, first timers need time to grasp.
Not prepped yet – Caught in an awkward moment? Deal with it gracefully, rather than avoiding eye contact or talk. Settle down the child and answer questions and promise to get back to it later. Do not keep child’s questions unanswered forever. Keep your promise of getting back to it.
An early education about human anatomy, reproductive system, sex, repercussions, accountability and responsibilities, will help them make informed decision, and prepares them against physical abuse. Personally for me, giving birds and bees explanations to science can be a bit deluding as well, better keep it at nits and grits of it. People are often caught worrying about their marriage age (the magical number) unmarried children.
My two cents, sex educate them first, as it is far better to be sex educated and unmarried than sex illiterate creating a bunch of clones.
- Neelu Soni
- April 18, 2016
- 0 Comment