Parents play an important role in shaping their children’s attitudes toward sexual behavior and, ultimately, their decision-making during the adolescent years. If Your child may begin to ask specific questions about sex. Don’t be at a loss for words? Consider using this guide on how to talk about sex with your school-aged child
Parents have a strong influence on their children’s attitudes around many things that they are exposed to while growing up. Sex and sexuality is one such important topic and so it is potentially the most influential. From an early age, it is critical to create a sex-positive environment at home, address sex education, and create a taboo-free safe space for your children.
If parents can normalise sexual education at home, their children will acquire a healthy attitude toward sex and reproduction later in life, and it will be simpler for them to talk to you when they have a dilemma or a doubt. With such easy access to the internet these days, children can Google their concerns at any time and find solutions that may or may not be appropriate for them at their age, or even correct and reliable. To avoid a situation like this, bring up the subject of sex education in your conversations with them. When talking to your kids about sex, include themes like sexual identity, STDs, safe sex practises, consent, healthy relationships and other age appropriate topics should be included when talking about sex to your children.
Here are some of the blunders you should avoid AS A PARENT:
NEVER BE LATE IN ‘INTRODUCING THE TOPIC’
Waiting for the perfect opportunity to give them “the talk” , will definitely
overwhelm and embarrass them. Don’t wait for your children to start the topic. It is a parent’s core responsibility to introduce the topic, little by little. Your child might never ask, but they still need to know and be aware of everything while growing up. Start when they’re as young as two years old, by introducing them to their body parts to make them feel comfortable talking about it. You should always teach them about consent very early on and help them understand what is appropriate touching and when to ask for help. As they grow up, you can talk about the body and mental transformations they will go through, and introduce the topics of safe sexual practices.
TELL THEM THE TRUTH
Instead of making up unbelievable stories when asked about sex, such as “Beta, you were given to us by a fairy”, give a true and positive touch to your conversations. Giving them accurate information from the start will put them on the right path. It facilitates children in differentiating between fact and fiction.
NEVER SUGAR-COAT THE IMPORTANT THINGS
Ignoring or altering the subject of sexual organs instead of educating them, will put them in awkward position about discussing it when need comes or they might end up developing flawed, incorrect perceptions Help your kids in respecting and caring for their body by using the correct language for body parts and functions. You never know when or what your child will ask, so don’t be concerned if you don’t know the answer; search it up together. You can even employ the help of a doctor to explain some complicated topics.
DON’T BRING UP EVERYTHING AT ONCE
Talk to your kids on their level: when you speak to them in abstractions, they don’t always understand. Sitting down just once in their teen life to discuss everything there is to know about sexual health, will overwhelm them and they will feel obliged to listen instead of partake in a healthy conversation. Your sex education begin early and go on till they are full grown adults, take it step by step and cover all important things at appropriate times. Before talking to your children, assess your own values and consider what you value in your relationships. Set a good example for your children in terms of proper behavior, because kids more often than not mimic their parents’ values and attitudes
NOT INVOLVING BOTH THE PARENTS
It’s a common practice for either one of the parents to talk about sex education, if at all. A healthy educational conversation must be done in the presence of both the parents. Look for scenarios where you can initiate the conversation smoothly and naturally. Divide the roles equally and teach them everything that is needed for them. For single parents, do not hesitate to take on those extra.
responsibilities of having the conversation on your own.
NOT TEACHING THEM THE RIGHT AND WRONGS CLEARLY
It’s crucial to teach kids when to say no. It is also just as important to teach kids how to accept a no. Discussing sexual abuse with your children—what it is and how they may protect themselves—is extremely crucial for them to understand it as well as make them feel comfortable communicating to you if something happens. To communicate feelings, oppose any awkward gestures from them, and use assertive communication. Teach them how to spot and avoid potentially dangerous social situations. When chatting or meeting someone online, tell them to keep their safety and personal limits in mind. Make sure you raise your sons by teaching them how to respect women and their boundaries, consent and how to handle rejection. This will help build a safer society.
DO NOT SHAME THEM
Make sure you do not intentionally or unintentionally make your child feel inadequate. All children crave for their parents’ acceptance, so do not hold back from hugging them and giving them positive affirmations. Do not body shame them as it may develop into big insecurities in the future. Be accepting of their sexuality, preferences and curiosities without being judgemental. Be open towards your children and they will be towards you too.
YOU ARE THE BEST TEACHER FOR YOUR CHILD
Talking and teaching about sexuality is a lifetime process. It’s high time for us to normalise sex education in households. Even if you’re nervous, keep going. Remember, you’re laying the groundwork for future open and honest discussions. Consider who is best suited to educate your child: you, the television, the internet, or YOU? You can’t always be there to protect your child, but having the much-needed conversation around sex will help keep your children safe.