Sex and the Children   



Sex and the Children

 
Wellness health Tips spells out how you can survive those dreaded where-did-I-come-from queries.

When I was a little girl I imagined the stork to be one very busy bird. After all, she was the bringer of babies. I would look out for her often, my eyes turned to slits from the glare of the sun, hoping to see a big white bird carrying a bundled baby in its beak-a brother or a sister just for me.

My parents married late in their lives and thus I was an only child. When I asked them why this was so, the reply was that we lived way too far for the stork to reach. This was my first foray into sex education-reproduction depended on two things: a white bird and a near house.

When it was my turn to become a parent, I decided to put the stork out of commission. I would tell my children the plain and simple truth about sex. No ridiculous names for their private parts. No covering their eyes each time there was a make-out scene on TV. I thought it would be easy. But it wasn't then, and it still isn't now.

Answering your kids' questions about sex is arguably one of the scariest responsibilities of a parent. But it will probably be one of the most fruitful, with your kids growing up more informed, less malicious and more responsible about their bodies than the generation before them. No matter how awkward you may fee l, don't avoid the subject of sex. Answer your children's questions as they come to help foster healthy feelings about sex.

CALL A SPADE A SPADE
Giving nicknames to private parts-like "flower" and "birdie"-may seem like the proper thing to do. But there is no reason why the proper anatomical label should not be used when the child is capable of saying it. Words like "penis" and "vagina" should be stated matter-of-factly with no implied malice or shame. That way, the child learns to use them in a direct, correct and appropriate manner, without any embarrassment.
 
When my daughter first asked me where she came from, the stork played no part in my answer. I simply replied that she grew from an egg in my womb and came out from a place between my legs called the vagina. Thankfully, the information sufficed. I have found that children know when you are being direct with them and are content with a sincere answer.

Eventually when my children got older, I began to explain more about what happens when a man and a woman love each other and how sex becomes a major expression of that love. Know that kids will feel special being told that they were made out of an act of love.

TAKE IT SLOW
Lest you think these talks happen in one big powwow, they don't. They happen over periods of time in a casual, need-to-know basis.
Be sure that talks about sex will continue well into your child's teen years. The issues by then will have changed: taking responsibility for his actions, waiting till the time is right and never doing anything out of pressure.
If you don't shy away from these discussions, one thing is certain:
your children will grow up more informed and more open to talking about sex. At last, you'll know the stork has retired for good.

Hands off
While teaching your child about sex, inform her about the difference between good and bad touching. State that your child's body belongs to her and that no one has the right to touch her if she doesn't want it. Warn her that if anyone touches her in a way that feels wrong, even if the person is a authority, a relative or a family friend, she is to tell that person to stop, and then to tell you about immediately.


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