Here are some practical strategies for parents on sex education


With so much information available out there, it is easy for children to get information about anything and everything, including sex. As a sensible parent, you want them to learn about sex from you and not outside sources, who can feed them incorrect information.

Although sex can be a difficult and tricky topic, the best way is to discuss it openly with your kids. It's perfectly alright to let them know that is difficult for you, but that you want them to feel they can come to you with anything at all. Open communication is key.

Start early and be age appropriate

Experts say it is advisable for parents to have the sex talk with their children as early as possible and not wait until your child is a teenager to talk about sex. Studies have indicated that children who have been able to talk with their parents throughout their formative years about often uncomfortable issues such as sex and relationships have much healthier relationships themselves and are less likely to seek inappropriate attention from others.

At an early age, it shouldn't be anything hectic but you can explain to them how bodies change and the basics of sexual intercourse in a manner which they can understand. You can then go back and address those issues later on in a different manner as they mature.Using the actual terms for body parts such as penis instead of willy, wee wee, or whatever is part of this education. Children should know and be comfortable using the appropriate terminology.

Also Read: SA teens are searching 'how to get rid of pregnancy without parents knowing' on Google

Strategies about talking about sex

Include dating in your talks about sex: Children will see on television that people often meet and end up in bed. Kids need to know that in reality time should be taken to get to know the other person before getting intimate. They need to know that it's okay to go very slowly and spend time hanging out, bowling, going to movies, and more, before sex ever becomes a factor.

You don't have all the answers: While chatting, a question may come up that you don't have an answer to. It is a fantastic educational opportunity for the two of you to do a little research together to find the answer.

A picture is worth a thousand words:It is advisable to use anything with pictures to show all the 'bits' that explain the birds and the bees in the basic language. It must be age appropriate.

Be open as opposed to reserved:To help foster a child's emotional growth be open about the in's and out's of sex. Don't be defensive in how you answer questions they may have. Rather be as factual as possible. Also assure your child that they may come to you anytime for information.

School sex education: Leaving sex education to your child's school and what their friends tell them, probably won't add up to the most relevant information, so it's best as parents to step up and deal with it yourself.

Also Read: Four facts parents need to know about DBE's 'controversial' sex education plans

Take the time to answer sex-related questions: One of the worst things you can do is ignore your child because you've been taken by surprise and give a "Not now I'm busy," type response. Kids easily pick up on the uneasy vibe from you and may not have the courage to ask you again for that reason. Be their first point of information.

Have your finger on the pulse: You want your kids to be able to ask you about sex. You can give them the most reliable information. It will give you an idea of how they are progressing maturity wise as well. Some questions may not be appropriate for them to know due to their age – or ever – depending on your views.

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