By Nidhi Sharma:
Sex is often a challenging and difficult issue for both youths and adults to discuss. Many parents try to ignore the subject of sex, and contend that this is something which should be handled in school under the heading of health or sex education and that this, combined with a child discussing the subject with his or her peers, should be sufficient. This is, of course, not the case and, like every other aspect of your child’s education, the school certainly has a role to play but that does not exempt you from your own overreaching parenting responsibility.
Why sex education is necessary for teenagers
Young people have a need and a right to know about their bodies and to be educated and informed about their sexual health, yet they face many social, political, and community barriers to receiving and gaining access to the right information.
Today all types ofÂ Media (television, music videos, the Internet, and the like), are increasingly more explicit in sexual content.
When parents should step in
Sexuality is a part of human life and human development. Adolescence signifies the onset of physical/sexual maturation and reproductive capacity. Puberty is a time when children will naturally start to explore their own bodies and to be curious about other people’s bodies. It is a time when they will start hiding ‘dirty’ magazines under the bed and masturbating in the bathroom. In short, it is a time when they will feel that this is somehow wrong and something which they should be ashamed of. It is vitally important therefore that as a parent you step in at this point and provide the answers for the string of questions that will be popping into your teen’s head. This is the time when you need to talk openly about sex and the role of sex in the context of a relationship.
The world of sex is exciting to children and they are eager to explore it, but it is important that they receive information, advice and guidance on the subject from someone they trust and there should be nobody they trust more than a parent.
The Role of Parents
Sex has traditionally been something of a taboo subject and still carries with it many of the Victorian attitudes of being something which is sinful and dirty. Â You should talk about sex openly within the family and set in into its proper context for your child then. The role of parents in the lives and decision-making processes of youths is often underestimated; parents clearly have a role and exert significant influence in the choices young people make about sex.
In short, you need to discuss sex with your children in exactly the same way as you discuss the one hundred and one other issues which are vital to their development. The consequences of not talking about sex, however, can be severe, and thus, must be avoided by establishing a comfortable mode of communication with children.