Last week in the A to Z Parenting tip series we looked at how to teach our children to imbibe reading culture. This week will be taking a look at how to go about teaching your children about SEX- giving them the sex education talk.
There are many conversations we look forward to having with our children; choice of Schools, University Courses even the meaning of life itself but discussions on SEX is not often one we savour. In this regard we must start to educate them when they are really young, I recommend between the ages of 2 and 3 years.
Consider this scenario
A 2 year old girl child, asked the mother while she was bathing her what her vagina was called, and the mum felt it shouldn’t be right to tell her it was called a vagina. So she told her “Mushroom”.
After a few months, the child kept telling the mum that an uncle Sam in school was touching her mushroom, and because kids say the darnest things, the mum would just laugh it away.
A day came, and she told the mum again that her mushroom was paining her, there the mother was concerned, and asked her where? Then she pointed to her Vagina! The mother greatly concerned, inspected her and saw that something wasn’t right, asked her if anybody touched her there, and the child burst out in frustration, saying “I told you uncle Sam was touching my mushroom” Then it dawned on her that her vagina was mushroom to her, as termed by her, her mother. What a sad story right?
However, when they are grown and their hormones are “about to start screaming”, especially for boys, It’s best to educate them like the adults you want them to grow into.
Whilst every parent will have their own best technique, I find what I call the 6L’s useful:-
1. Teach them to Love God
We must let them know that loving God must include obeying Him. That He in infinite wisdom prescribed sex as an intimacy that should should come with marriage. Let them know that He wasn’t suggesting, He was stating. That Sex should be appreciated as an expression of love between two people within the union of marriage and not simply an ‘act’ to be performed on a whim.
2. Love Themselves (not the Justin Bieber song!)
This is a direct result of the first That when they love God, they appreciate they are are wonderful and special in His sight. That they do not require validation of the world to confirm their beauty or self worth. They shouldn’t feel pressured to practice what they shouldn’t from external pressure and to please others. Let them understand that Sex does not make them ‘grown up’ or cool- It is not a rite of passage.
3. Love Life
The world for the young is an oyster. Let them know that sex outside the parameters God clearly lays out can bring repercussions that might impede from fulfilling their potential and reaching the heights for which they are destined.
4. Love Not Regret
Sex can often bring life changing consequences affecting one’s ability to live life to its fullest. Girls unfortunately often bear the greatest brunt of this. Sometimes life comes with regret. I believe many more people regret engaging in sexual practices before the right time rather than the other way round. Let this be their motto on sex.
5. To Love their Neighbour
When they expect others to show care and consideration for them, they must reciprocate; this will forestall acting in a manner or putting pressure on others to engage in any activity; including sex, for which they are not prepared or willing to participate in.
6. Love Not Lust
The world in which we live peddles lust/sex hastily disguised as love. It is lust/sex that fuels the wheels of advertising, music videos and other commercial endeavours often run and controlled by men. It is seductive. However, the maturity required to engage in relationships should include the ability to distinguish clearly between the two.
However, like medicine; it might not be pleasant going down but it does a world of good. Also in giving advice; unsolicited or not, there are no guarantees it will be followed. However as parents, it is an inherent compulsion to dispense benefits of our experience to our kids. Of course, tone and timing matter, then we can only follow up with prayer and encouragement.
Ultimately, God gives us the gift of free will, just as parents can not (unfortunately) truly control whether children will understand and accept their advice. He constantly ‘steers’ us in the right direction and as parents we pray to do same.
About the Author:
Bola Benson is the founder of Libra House. A graduate of the prestigious London School of Economics, she also has a diploma in Newspaper Journalism. Bola abandoned banking and most recently working in the Trade Development Section on at the British Deputy High Commission, to pursue her true calling and passion as an educator.
She retrained as a Montessori teacher at the premier Maria Montessori Training Institute in the UK in 2003 and is an AMI Certified Diploma holder, with teaching experience in the UK .Bola has a hands on style and runs Libra House herself supported by her qualified team of teachers..
Bola is married with five children.