Why Parents Need to Talk With Their Kids About Sex and Sexuality

Being a parent is not an easy job. Being responsible for another human being’s quality of life and their welfare is a huge responsibility. While your child’s health and career hold priority, it is significant that you take charge of his/her wholesome growth. This implies being concerned regarding their behaviour, mental health, and attitude towards everything in life. Talking about sex and sexuality with your child in a most frank and positive manner is of utmost significance in this aspect. You are responsible for how your child will think about these matters for life, especially in the initial stages of growing up such as puberty.

Talking to your child

It is even more crucial now, owing to the rapidly developing modern times. Here’s how it affects you, your child, and your relationship:

PEER+ PARENTING= PEERENTING

While discipline and a certain amount of strict control are indispensable for parents, it is important that you be a friend to your child too. You need to be a guide for your children; they must get to know what they need to know from the right source, which is you. The Internet and acquaintances in school/college/neighbourhood are not the safest sources for your child to explore these tender topics with. So be open and accepting; for only you can shape them into well aware, balanced, and discerning individuals.

WAY TO MONITOR+ EDUCATE

Your child needs grooming from infancy to adulthood. Liberty needs to be exercised, but with caution and alertness. If you create a conducive environment at home, your child will be able to share his/her views, questions, insecurities, and problems. The child needs to know you are there for him/her, no matter what category the issue falls into (especially sensitive and taboo topics like sex and sexuality). In this manner, you will be able to monitor your child’s well- being in a healthy manner and also be able to guide them along the way. Remember though, that it needs to be guiding, not preaching. The aim is to mould them into adults who can differentiate between right and wrong for themselves and handles complications; not to make them dependent or rebellious.

SEX VERSUS SEXUALITY

Certain things your child should be aware of and think about are-

A. SEX

  1. Infancy/ Early childhood
  2. The difference between the right ways of expressing affection and the ‘wrong kind of touch’
  3. How and when to say ‘No’
  4. What to do if someone makes him/her feel strange or unpleasant

 

B. Teenage/ Puberty

  1. Changes in the body and mind
  2. Basic sex education
  3. Teenage pregnancy
  4. Difference between sex for pleasure and sex as a crime (the dynamics of rape and deceit)
  5. Basic values and understanding of legalities related to consensual sex
  6. Developing a healthy and positive attitude towards these issues

 

C. Young Adults

  1. Seeking support from a responsible adult for guidance and solutions in matters related to the concept
  2. How to make mature decisions about consent, safety, and hygiene
  3. How to not let external factors sway their own judgement

 

D. SEXUALITY

  1. The child needs to be aware of the LGBT community and their rights
  2. He/she should be able to discuss the topic freely with parents
  3. He/she should be aware of the dynamics and consequences of such a choice of lifestyle
  4. Ability to choose and be stress- free regarding their sexuality and individuality (for sake of their mental well- being)

 

YOUR ATTITUDE DEFINES THEIRS

It is 2017, and it is time to grow up for both the Indian parent and the Indian kid. These topics have long been considered taboos and it is high time we start acting maturely about a basic biological need. This does not mean that we are adopting new cultures or eroding our moral fabric; it simply means that we need to be more transparent and accepting of the fact that sex is a natural phenomenon and we need not make a big deal about it. Well- informed and mature children will save themselves from harm. Being conservative and shy is not an option. In a real life incident, a girl was isolated from these talks so much, that she developed a resistant attitude towards sex. When she grew up and got married, she detested sex so much that she could not consummate her marriage despite everything being hale and hearty. It made her feel ‘dirty’. Such kinds of unfortunate mental blocks are best avoided by open communication between parents and their children. They need to have a positive body image and be free of psychological fears/insecurities/obsessions related to these matters.

Make your children comfortable, and also let them know that you will keep a control in these matters until they are grown up enough to take charge of their own lives. Stay involved and build their confidence in you. As it is, they will find out about all these matters from someone in the world eventually. Why let the world get to them first? Let it be you.

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