Do you remember how old you were when you realised what ‘sex’ really entailed? The activity your parents locked you out of their room for? Did you stumble in on them? Did someone tell you what ‘it’ was?
For some of us that experience was so long ago… Too long to remember the finer details. Finding out that your dad put his penis (willy, dick, Johnny – whatever your family called it) into an opening your mum has between her legs (vagina, vagigi, front bottom or wee wee- or whatever name your family had for this area), was possibly quite traumatic for some. Sex Education is one of those very hotly debated subjects, even by those who don’t have any children of their own… we all have an opinion on when it should be discussed, what should, or should not be said, who will have this discussion, how this info will be delivered, and how much detail will be divulged…
In Australia our current family values and social norms around sex are somewhat old fashioned…. They developed from our 19th century prudish forefathers… and mothers… and these originally came from religious teachings. They have been perpetuated through the last few hundred years, and linger to this day, making sex, sexuality, homosexuality and anything related to such topics a taboo subject. Why is that? The vast majority of adults in the world have sex, in some way shape or form. If it wasn’t for sexual intercourse, none of us would even be here!
It is high time we put the past where it belongs and start the conversation with our youngsters as soon as they start asking… we need to use the correct terminology, give age appropriate answers… be askable parents… open conversation from the beginning encourages your kids to trust you, respect you and be the primary source of info and learning. Far too many parents leave it to the school system… it is not equipped to handle this topic. Teach your kids… they are your kids… do you really want other people telling them stuff you are not privy to?
Like it or not pornography has become the educator for a large number of boys and some girls… and I do mean boys and girls… kids are being exposed to the most extreme images from as young as 8 years old. Even if you restrict your kids’ internet access at home… there a plenty of kids with smart phones at school… you may never have typed anything into Google related to porn… but kids are curious, they want and need to know stuff. If you have not had these conversations with them, helped to give them a good grounding and understanding of human sexuality… how are they going to handle graphic pictures and movies they are shown? Sex education is vital, important and yours to deliver. It is part of a healthy relationship with your offspring. Be a responsible parent… from the beginning.