Talking to our children about sex is crucial, because if we don’t they may be taught wrongly outside the home which may impact negatively on their lifes now and in the future.
When I was growing up, my parents did not talk about sex with me, because they felt our religion teaches moral attributes and that i will get these teachings from the school, church and learn from their good example. But they were totally wrong because, i started listening and hearing about this crucial topic from my friends, culture and the television. I started seeing my friends having sex early, getting pregnant and aborting the pregnancies and there was a huge peer pressure.
This topic is very crucial and children should learn from the home first. We as parents should create a genuine culture at home where children are equipped and confident in engaging in conversations about sexual health and relationships with us in other to increase their knowledge and understanding of this topic.
Talking to young people about sexual health is critical to helping them:
1. make well-informed decisions outside the home
2. seek out good relationships
3. help build self-esteem and confidence
4. avoid unhappy incidents and endings
5. give both the child and the parents peace of mind
6. avoid sexually transmitted diseases
7. avoid shameful outcomes
8. avoid teenage pregnancy
9. avoid disruption to their education and life
10. and avoid giving birth to an unwanted and fatherless baby
Researchers found that more than 40% of adolescents had had intercourse before talking to their parents about safe sex, birth control or sexually transmitted diseases. This study is a parent-child sex and sexuality research which was published in Pediatrics, was carried out at the university of California Los Angeles/Rand Center for Adolescent Health Promotion and was overseen by Schuster.
"That trend is troublesome, says experts, since teens who talk to their parents about sex are more likely to delay their first sexual encounter and to practice safe sex when they do become sexually active". And, ironically, despite their apparent dread, kids really want to learn about sex from their parents, according to study after study on the topic.
"To make things easier, and to take some of the pressure off the situation, says experts, parents should think about sex talks as an ongoing dialogue, rather than one uncomfortable discussion that they must cross off their list".
"If you just get over the hurdle of starting, then once the conversation gets going, you often find it's easier than expected," says Schuster.
Tips for Parents
Start early (do not wait until it is too late), start the discussion with your kid in a relaxed environment, talk about your values, listen, be truthful, don’t rush, and bring the topic up again and again.
In conclusion, talking about sex with your kids is uncomfortable, but it has to be done in other to equip, teach and inform of various sex topics (e.g. body changes in puberty, difference between love and sex, what leads to pregnancy, menstruation, wet-dream, condom, sexually transmitted diseases etc.).
Researched and Written by Elizabeth SamCoffie
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