Several years ago, I remember waiting in the Waiting Area of a school with my husband, we had an appointment to see the Head Teacher of a School one of our children was starting the following term. The children in the school were going into the IT room for a lesson, they were whispering, winking and giggling as they rushed past us. One of the teachers was trying desperately to quieten the children down but had little success. The secretary called us in and said to us as we passed her by ‘Mr. Grant is ready for you now. Please ignore the children, they are usually better behaved but they are going to watch a sex education film, so they are overly excited.’
‘Sex education! Sex education Film!’ Alarm bells started going off in my head. This was a school in England, UK. I could not understand why anyone will be talking to children between the ages of 7 and 11 about sex! Needless to say, I have moved on from that point now and so should you.
Now the Sex education talk was necessary for the children because research has shown that a lot of under 10 year olds are already sexually active in the western world. We don’t do much research about these issues in Nigeria, so we are not too sure what the accurate figures are for are society. Teenage pregnancy was a problem at the time, so part of the solution was for the government to come up with a plan to tackle it by educating the children. It must have worked because the figures have started abating in the past few years.
The issue of showing them a film about sex is another issue. Too much information too soon is not good for the children. Maybe it was not a graphic blow by blow information film! It’s just that I don’t trust that too much information is not given too soon.
So today I stand on the side of indeed having sex talks with our children, at home by mum and dad and in school, just to cover all bases, in case Mom and Dad are not yet having the talk.
Most of us are afraid or weary of having this talk, we don’t know what to say, we are shy, scared! And rightly so, as no -one had the talk with us when we were growing up, or not the right talk if one was done.
Well let’s put that behind us now and look at what we can do to make sure we have the right talk with our children, at the right time, in the right way.
- Always make your talk age appropriate, don’t go into elaborate detail, be truthful, and use the right words,
- At 1-years, teach your child the parts of their body, and talk about who can help them when they need to go to the toliet. (Be careful who you leave your child with!)
- At 2-years, teach your child about their public and private parts. Help them to differentiate them and let them know what to do if someone over-steps the boundaries. Regardless of the fact that it may be a relative or friend of the family. Teach them to say polietly, ‘It’s my private area, please do not touch or I will tell my parents.’ At this point, even the heartless predator runs off never to return.
- At 3 to 6 years, your child should be toliet-trained and able to look after themselves with little adult supervision. It’s important to spend time training them now so that they won’t be so dependent. Continue to talk about the body, its parts, the private parts of the body, and who can and can’t touch them. They should also learn to bath themselves, and should gradually be able to say to other adults that they are capable of looking after themselves. There is a song that we teach the children in school that has made such a positive impact on the children. I will ask for permission from the owner of the song and if granted will post on our resource page.
- From 7-years onwards, you need to have more talks with your child about sex, make sure it’s always age appropriate. The world is changing. If you do not do it, the world will do it for you and I am certain you will not like that.
- If you want I can go into the Middle and Upper primary years next week. Leave a comment below and let me know.
I am concerned, because I hear of Uncles raping 2 year olds and coaches having sex with under aged boys. No one is safe or excluded. We must not bury our heads in the sand. Both parents and schools must pick up the batton, and ensure that we provide safe environments for our children.
One thing I have learned in the last couple of years is that: Sex Education is important, it is a powerful tool. It is a power tool because it gives children information. No sex predator can triumph when faced with a knowledgeable vitamim. The lion preys around seeking the weakest in the flock. Your knowledgeable child is no longer a weakling he/she has become the power block, the cornerstone that will not be brought down by the monster who wants to devour our young. Let us empower our children now. Teach Them About Sex Now!
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