Sex and sexuality – just one of those subjects which can invite any number of diverse reactions: from nervous giggling to embarrassment to outright shame. Despite being one of the fundamental facts of human life, it continues to be treated (in many cultures) as shameful and sometimes wrong.
And the worst part? It starts at a young age, right when a parent finds a child playing with their genitalia and instead of ignoring it (because guess what? Totally natural.) or maybe gently telling the child that doing it somewhere private is the best, their most common reaction is to go “Chee chee! Dirty!” And that’s where it all starts, attaching shame to the concept of sexuality.
Not to mention how it affects the level of trust between parent and child. Rather than seeing a parent as someone you can trust (who tells you things and to whom you can tell things in return), the parent is seen as an obstacle or someone to hide from, which is the last thing any parent needs. From innocent questions about sexuality to abuse, children may simply be too afraid to approach their parents and this can stop any necessary conversations from happening in the first place. So talk to them. Make them realise that you’re there for them. Do not shut down that conversation.
It’s not bad, dirty, shameful or immoral. It’s natural! And parents need to tell their children this for their sake and for the sake of ending the shame around sexuality. Because there’s no need for it.