The reason why I offer this empowering and informative talk to parents and teachers is based on the following:
‘Sex Communication Breakdown’ (article appeared in “Business Day” on 26 January 2011)
“WAKE-UP CALL- Children learn about sexuality from friends and from the media, but parents should be the most important providers of information about sex and sexuality, say the experts. US research, published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health, shows that teens would prefer to get the information from their parents – and that parents most influence their decisions about sex. However, many parents don’t provide the information because they think their children won’t listen to it, say the researchers at Florida State University. The study “begs the question why youth cannot get the information that they seek-and prefer-from their own parents,” says Dr. Nancy Irwin, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles who specializes in childhood and adolescent sexuality. “This should be a wake-up call to parents: You and your kids want the exact same thing. What are missing are the proper tools for communication.”
“Inappropriate sexual behaviour could start as early as pre-school.” The newspaper article referred to the case where “a five-year-old girl inserted a foreign object into the vagina of another girl. It was aggressive behaviour, not for sexual gratification.” According to Rapcan, an organization fighting child abuse and neglect, 40% of reported rape cases in South Africa were perpetrated by people under 18.
This information was shared in “Business Day” in 2011. It is even more relevant today!
Why must parents give sexual education to their children?
If the parents do not equip their children with the correct and factual information in a loving and caring way, the kids find the incorrect and sensational “un” facts from their peers, siblings, and other children, who know little or lopsided information, that they usually received from other children. Adults are supposed to teach children about the birds and the bees. Children are not supposed to teach other children. Today’s children are exposed to a wide source of information about sexual issues. The world that has become a global village.
What age must parents start?
I recommend that parents equip themselves with the right way to share information with their kids about the birds and the bees from when the child is 3-4 years old. The reason for this is: Children start with the developmental phase of sexual identification and awareness from age 4, and they become aware and curious and start to ask questions verbally and non-verbally (e.g., a curious look on the face). The younger the child is, the easier it is for parents to overcome their own awkwardness and hesitancy to go with the child’s questions. A prepared and open parent is an approachable and trustworthy parent. I encourage parents to open communication with their kids from the ages 4 to 6 to establish a relationship of openness, approachability, and mutual respect.
What will attendees learn?
In a world where our children as young as 3 years are bombarded with sexual issues, parents need to be more enlightened about handling sexual issues and questions.
In this 60 minutes webinar, parents will learn:
- Basic principles for sexual education
- The naming of body parts
- How to explain erection, menstruation, pregnancy and birth, sex
- How to handle sexual curiosity, sexual play, self-stimulation
- How to respond to dirty talk
- How to handle difficult questions like “what is rape, abortion, AIDS, homosexuality, birth control, prostitution, pornography, circumcision,” and many more words children can ask.
This talk is an absolute must for all parents (and teachers) of children aged 3-12 years.