How to Provide Sexual Education for Children?
Windowofworld.com – Sexual education is important information that needs to be obtained by children. As part of good parenting, parents need to be involved in sexual education for children, including providing understanding and discussing openly with your child about sexual education for children.
Discussion about sex is not only about sexual relations with men and women who are often considered taboo to talk about before the child is an adult. If done properly, this discussion will only broaden understanding and become their basis for making decisions about sexuality in the future.
Why Educate Children About Sexuality?
Your parents may never have invited you to discuss sex and you feel all right. But the situation facing your child now is very different. Try to consider the following reasons about the need for you to introduce children to sexuality.
1. Ward off the adverse effects of the media and the environment
Now it’s easier for children to get internet and TV access. Friendship relationships are broader and more diverse. Discussing sex can protect your child from the negative effects of TV or other information media. Also give them an understanding of the world of association so as not to fall prey to free sex or criminal activity.
2. Building trust between parents and children
Discussing sex openly with children actually gives you the opportunity to provide appropriate and accurate information. That way, children will not look for sources that are not necessarily safe and appropriate. In addition, children will be more trusting and open because they know that you can talk to the most personal things.
3. Support the development and understanding of children
Discussing about sex makes the child realize that he must protect and respect his own body.
- If done the right way, discussing sex will only make your child consider it important.
- Children will realize that no one can force him to do or receive mistreatment on his body.
- Proper understanding can make children learn to choose, behave, and be responsible for actions
- Research shows that children of parents who discuss sex openly are more likely to choose to wait for the right time and the right partner to have sex.
- The study of body anatomy in biology at school will be more complete with you providing an understanding of the moral aspects of sexual relations between men and women.
- Sex is a human thing. It contains many aspects ranging from culture, religion, morals, to the human concept of happiness. Talking about it carefully will allow your child, in the future, to be able to see the world and yourself in a civilized and wiser way to make the right choices.
When is the Right Time?
When should you start giving sex education to your child? The answer is as early as possible. At the age of 3-4 years, when children begin to pay attention to their surroundings, they will begin to learn to recognize their own bodies and compare themselves with their friends. It was then that it was possible for him to ask about the differences between male and female bodies. Why are boys ‘hair short, while girls’ hair is long? Why does a boy have a penis, while his girl friend doesn’t?
Questions like these are actually an opportunity for parents to provide a basic understanding of sexuality. Just like educating children in other matters, sexual education from parents should always be carried out gradually as long as the child is still under our care.
How to discuss sex with children?
Naturally, if you feel embarrassed and confused to start a conversation with children about sex. The following are some things that can be your guide for discussion.
1. At school age
At this age, some children may feel ashamed to ask parents about sex. Steps that can be taken include:
- At this age, children may experience interest in the opposite sex and compare their bodies with their peers. Be empathetic to the story and never laugh or make him embarrassed. You can tell your own experience at the same age.
- You can take the initiative to open a chat when doing joint activities such as watching TV, traveling, or eating together.
- Take advantage of news that is warm. News about sexual harassment in a kindergarten or sexual assault of a teenager by his girlfriend can actually be an opening window for you to talk about sex. You can explain how to save yourself if there are strangers who want to touch their bodies in a rude manner, or things that are not good to do to friends of different sexes.
- Avoid judging and prohibiting by using negative sentences such as “do not”, but replace with the word “should”.
- Let him express his opinion before you give advice. Also state the reasons and risks he will face if he does not follow your advice.
- If you avoid or distract when your child asks, he will be reluctant to repeat similar questions and choose to seek answers from other parties who are not necessarily responsible.
- Be clear about your attitudes and opinions about sexual choices or actions that you think are inappropriate.
- Give an example so that children see their father and mother as examples of couples who love and respect each other. It’s okay if the child sees his parents arguing. But also show that you two can immediately make up and move together.
- It is no less important is when expressing the risk of sexual relations outside a committed relationship, you should also explain the positive side of sex that is based on feelings of love. Thus children are expected to learn to place sex as an expression of adult human love.
2. At the age of toddlers
At this age, it’s okay if a toddler might not be able to fully understand your explanation. You can start educating him in the following ways.
- At the age of toddlers, children begin to learn the names of their organs. Avoid changing the name of her sex organs with names other than the penis, breasts, vagina. Do not laugh at or embarrass him if the child asks about parts
- You can use daily events or TV shows to bring up topics about, for example, if a family member is pregnant, invite the child to rub the belly of the pregnant woman and let her know that there is a baby sister sleeping in it.
- Tell the child that no one can touch his intimate body parts except the parent or caregiver.
- Give explanations according to the age and questions of children. In toddlers, just give short answers in accordance with what he asked. No need to explain more than what he asked. If he wants to know more, he will continue his question.
Some Questions and Recommended Answers
Most parents must have experienced confusion when children suddenly ask sensitive things about sex. Below are a few questions and examples of answers that can inspire you to explain them.
1. For toddlers
The following are some examples of questions your toddler asks, as well as answers that can be used as references to use:
Question: “Why do I have a penis, but my girlfriend doesn’t?”
Answer: “The bodies of men and women are indeed different.”
Question: “How can a baby be on the mother’s stomach?”
Answer: “Mother and father make babies together in a special way.”
Question: “How are babies born?”
Answer: “Mother takes the baby out of the womb with the help of doctors and nurses.”
Question: “Why is your chest big?”
Answer: “Women’s bodies change as they grow up.”
Answers may very well need to be improvised according to the child’s age and questions.
2. For school-age children
When starting at the age of seven, children will need more specific answers. The following are a few examples.
Question: “What is menstruation?”
Answer: “Menstruation is a sign that women can have a baby.”
You can explain about the menstrual process and show the sanitary napkin products used if your daughter experiences menstruation. In boys, this understanding will make him appreciate the natural processes that occur in women.
Question: “What is an erection?”
Answer: “Erection is when the penis stiffens due to certain causes.”
You can begin to explain the details of its causes such as a penis that stiffens when touched or while sleeping. Explain if an erection begins when you see, feel, smell, hear, or think of something that causes nerves to send chemical messages to the blood vessels in the penis. This makes the arteries relax and more blood flows to the penis and closes the blood vessels. As a result, the penis becomes tense and elongated or erect. When the blood vessels open and there is no more heavy blood flow to the penis, the penis will return to normal.
Question: “How do people have sexual relations?”
Answer: “A man puts his penis into a woman’s vagina.”
Your explanation can be more interesting and clearer if it is helped by anatomical images of the human body that are widely available on the internet. Depending on the age of the child, you might also be able to explain the risks if the child or teen has sexual relations prematurely and without security.