Sex education is one of the most important part of a child’s growing up years. I can never forget the day my mother sat me down to lecture me on sex and menstruation. I was just nine years old and my smart mum had taken her time to notice my fast growing body and had decided it was time she told me how the world of sex works.
And shortly afterwards, somewhere around the age of ten, my menstrual flow started. Not only was I well equipped to take proper care of myself, I was also well aware that I had crossed a line and that my sexual decisions from there onward, would play major role in my future life. Remember, I was just ten.
Unlike me, a little cousin of mine that lived in our house some years later, had no knowledge whatsoever about sex and her body. I guess she never had an opportunity to receive sex education from anyone. She was eleven when she started menstruating and the girl was scared to death. She was even ashamed to open up to me until I figured out myself what was up with her. So, even as a teen-ager, I had to take up the role of a parent and give my cousin the sex education she needed; at least in my own little way.
Many children grow up just like that cousin of mine. Some are not even lucky enough to find someone to give them a proper sex education and that makes them vulnerable to abuse. A child with sexual education has an edge over a naïve child. I remember being continuously exposed to situations that would have led to sexual abuse, but because I was well aware of what a male is capable of doing to a female, I was always smart enough to run away.
Sexual Abuse on children comes in different forms and even in unexpected ways but as a parent, ensure you have reduced that risk by giving your child the sex education they need to stay equipped and safe. You never know when that lecture could come in handy.
These days we hear of children being abused by even their most trusted relative. Some of these scenarios might have been avoided if the child is well aware of the danger lying ahead. But where a child is not well informed to understand the boundaries of an adult on their bodies, they are easily molested and abused. The worst part is not been able to confide in you as a parent because you have never been open to them on the topic. They are afraid of what your reaction would be and so they just keep to themselves. We even hear of scenarios where mothers or fathers would call their children liars even when they muster up the courage to disclose what is happening to them. That’s a very inhuman thing to do. No matter how stupid you think your child is, always try to pay more attention to them when it comes to their sexual health.
Many reasons exist on why parents don’t give their children sex education. Some are simply shy to discuss the topic with their little one. They feel the child is too young to know. If that is your case, be well aware that sooner or later that child will learn about sex from the internet, media or even peers. So, if you really love that child, it’s better you pass across the correct information about sex, before it gets too late. Others do it for religious or cultural reasons. If you are in that category, please have a rethink. Don’t allow cultural and religious beliefs prevent your child from receiving the right sex education from you.
There is another category of parents who really would love to give their child the sex education they need, but don’t know where to begin from. The first thing I always advise parents to do is to “make your child your friend”. Many parents don’t befriend their children even from infancy. The communication gap between parent and child is so great that your cannot freely come to you to ask for advice on very simple domestic issues talk less of sitting down to receive sex education from you. I meet children and teens all the time who open up some sensitive secrets about themselves to me but sometimes beg me not to let their parents know. This is wrong. Your child should freely come to you both as a friend and when they are in trouble. Be in your child’s life. Come down to their level. Give them sex education, and the avoidable abuse and molestation children are exposed to, might just pass them by.