We are more curious to know about things which are not talked openly or not visible. The word “Sex” is no different. Our dilemma, fears and beliefs add more to child’s confusion. Explore how can we break this taboo.
Here is the real story of parent, as they wanted our help regarding how to talk to children about Sex.
Yesterday my 9 yrs old son asked a very unexpected question which turned our mind into utter confusion for the moment. He asked, ” What is sex?” I was unable to find a proper reply and tried to explain it as a gender division of males & females. My son responded “I know this but sex is something else other than this”. When we asked, in which context you came across this word. His reply was that one of his senior school mate used this word while conversing with someone. After this, he went to the teacher and asked him but the teacher didn’t tell anything and continued teaching.
Younger son (6yrs old) being smart suggested him to search this word on Youtube and Google. We were again shocked to imagine the adverse impact of the internet. We just said to our son that we would discuss this medical term on Sunday. Our concern is what to be explained to elder son about sex or in what manner? Whatever he will come to know he will share with a younger brother so, we will have to be very specific and clear before explaining such words. We need your suggestions in detail.
Here are some of our thoughts shared with the parent.
First, enjoy that he came and asked you and seeking information from you. How you respond to this will decide If he will come again to you or nor. Its nice that you have taken time from him to know your own response. By asking following question you can understand how he sees this word
- What does he mean by sex?
- Where all he has heard usage of this word?
- Draw with him -allow him to draw.
- Write words in mind map (recommended) what all he says about sex.
- If possible prompt him with words to understand how much he knows and what all you need to clarify.
- After you know what does he means about sex, affirm his knowledge. If he says, it means a boy and girl kissing – affirm that yes, this is part of sex. If he says it means boy and girl sleeping together, affirm yes this is also part of sex. If he says this means parts of the body, affirm. If require use books to share what is sex. Time to get some books to help you.http://aarohilife.org/resources/sex-education
If possible read about the word’s origination. Wonder, why the bath is called bath and sex is called sex. Is bathing also sex? Wonder how one word is used in many situations
Share that this word or context is not used openly in our society. If possible share why you think so. Ask him how does he feels with different gender (you need to decide how open he is is to talk) – talk in small dosages. Talk in different situations, invite him to talk. As questions like “you were asking questions about the word sex, do you know how boys and girls are different? ” and many other questions around the topic. Try not to give any false information. I also understand that he already is exposed to many things, so its time to talk more and talk more openly. Talk not only about sex but many other aspects. Look at this as an opportunity to bring this topic to your dining room.
An18yrs old says – “But to be able to honestly say to others, one must be at peace with the subject themselves. If in my mind there is a guilt or thoughts that make me feel bad about myself, then as a person it will be difficult to tell the child about sex as it is”.
She was exposed to the topic of sex when she was 9yrs old, initially, she would feel shy to talk and later she started educating her own brother who was just six and was curious. The books on sex education were kept in open cupboards. The more you talk and the more you talk openly, the chances are that kids will take it more openly and keep this topic healthy. It’s a myth that If you talk to them they will become more curious and get involved in unhealthy sexual activities. Also it important to inform that child that in today’s society sex is a taboo topic. Also, people use code words, make fun of it but sex is not BAD. As a parent it is important to be open about the topic and answer the child questions honestly. It is also imp to not give over information, that’s why it important to understand the child’s meaning of sex. There are many aspects of sex and the child will discover them slowly in life.