While educating young children on sex, the discretion lies not in what information to deliver first, but in tactful handling of their queries. Puberty does bring a hoard of physical and mental changes, which might range from pimples, menstrual cycles in girls to the growing of beard in boys. Children often get frightened as they are least prepared for these changes in their bodies.
Being guardian, we must help our wards in dealing with topics related to sex and sexuality. There is no specific time or age of educating the children about sexual health, we can start when they are very young and throughout their lives.
A good and an interactive session on sex education for young children would include topics such as:
- Sexual responsibility
- Physical development
- What one should expect to happen during puberty
- The adverse effects of unmonitored sexual acts
- How to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STDs
The focal point of every discussion should be to teach them about valuing one’s own body. Respect for the self can actually act as a shield against casual sexual encounters and mishaps. Most often young children ask questions, such as “where do babies come from?” and “what is sex?” These questions should be answered with a lot of care. The best way is to answer their questions in the form of a story without skipping facts. This still remains the best way to answer preteen queries.
The sex education tips are as follows:
- It is not advisable for parents to wait for the child to pop the question first. Some children are introverts or may be hesitant enough and might end up asking their friends about the same. This is harmful as the information passed on from one child to the other is mostly half-baked and incorrect. In this way, incorrect information is circulated between children, which might lead to unwanted teenage pregnancies in the early years of puberty.
- Develop trust and a bond of friendship with your child. Many children fall prey to speculation in sex education due to lack of proper guidance from parents. A confident childhood will lead to a brighter future.
- Children in the later years of puberty might develop masturbating habits, which is perfectly normal. They just need to know that this is something very private and, hence should be done in seclusion.
- Another tip is to be honest and truthful about every question young children ask. A diplomatic and a manipulative answer will not last long as sources, such as the internet would ultimately give them the true version. There is abundant information available in the form of books and other reading material for parents to consult.
- The last and the most important tip is to re-address and peruse the topics with your children time and again to clear their confusion. One session packed with information often leaves the child confused and perturbed. Each session should be brief and carefully knit with the right kind of information.
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