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Give your children the gift of informed decision-making, prepare for the difficult sex talk! Here are 8 ways to teach sex education in India!
Give your children the gift of informed decision-making, and prepare for the difficult talk about sex! Here are 8 ways to teach sex education in India!
Talking about sex with your children, why am I writing about this?
Let me give you some context. I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and came across a post where a parent settled abroad had asked for recommendations for English movies with no on-screen display of physical intimacy that she could watch with her teenage daughter.
I shared names of movies I’d enjoyed as a viewer and also mentioned that she may want to think about her approach, as the more we try to keep children away from certain things, the more they are drawn to them. Not only that, but I’m a parent of a teenager and have gone through this experience. But little did I know that my harmless comment would start a moral storm.
And that’s when I realized that most Indian parents, especially mothers, are clueless about how and when to have the ‘birds and bees’ conversation with their children. Or even if they should have this conversation.
Sex education has always been a sensitive topic in India, especially when parents discuss it with their teenage children. In most Indian families, sex is considered taboo, and parents hesitate to openly and honestly discuss it.
Indian society is known for its conservative values and cultural beliefs. Sex is often viewed as a private matter, and discussions are considered inappropriate in public or even within families. The idea of sex education or discussing it with young children is often seen as a threat to society’s moral and cultural values.
This conservative approach towards sex education has resulted in many parents shying away from discussing it with their children.
Another reason why Indian parents do not have the ‘birds and bees‘ chat with their teenage children is due to the lack of adequate sex education in schools. Many schools in India do not have comprehensive sex education programs, leaving students with little to no knowledge about sex and sexual health. As a result, parents often feel unprepared to address the topic of sex education with their children, as they may not have been adequately educated about it.
Indian parents are also hesitant to discuss sex education with their children due to the fear of their children engaging in premarital or unsafe sexual activities. In Indian culture, premarital sex is considered taboo and frowned upon.
This fear of their children engaging in premarital sex often leads parents to avoid the topic of sex education altogether. However, this approach can be detrimental, leaving children uninformed and unprepared, leading to potentially harmful sexual experiences.
In India, very few resources are available to parents for discussing sex education with their children. The limited availability of resources makes it challenging for parents to have an informed and constructive conversation with their children about sex.
In addition to the reasons mentioned above, cultural and religious beliefs contribute to the reluctance of Indian parents to discuss sex education with their children. Many religious faiths in India view sex as a sacred and private act that should only occur within the context of marriage. These beliefs cause parents to shy away from discussing sex education with their children, or to discuss it only in the context of marriage.
As an Indian mother, I understand that talking to your teenage children about sex and relationships can be difficult and awkward. Still, it is also crucial for their physical and emotional well-being. The ‘birds and bees’ talk is not just about sex education, but it is also about teaching them how to respect themselves and others.
So, what is the right way of having the ‘birds and bees’ chat with your teenage children?
That would vary from parent to parent and your relationship with your kid, but here are some pointers to help you get started.
It is important to start discussing sex and relationships, so your children feel comfortable discussing it with you. You can begin by discussing basic concepts such as anatomy, reproduction, and body changes during puberty. This will help them understand the basics and create a foundation for future conversations.
Using the correct language is crucial while discussing sex and relationships with your children. It is essential to use language that is age-appropriate and easy to understand. Using scientific terminology or slang can confuse your children and make the conversation uncomfortable.
Creating a safe space for your children to express themselves without judgment is essential. Listen to what they say, and don’t dismiss their opinions or beliefs. Please encourage them to ask questions and answer them honestly and openly.
Discussing consent is a crucial part of the birds and bees talk. Teach your children that they have the right to say no to any sexual activity, and that it is essential to respect their partner’s decisions as well. Explain the importance of communication and that consent is a continuous process that must be respected throughout the sexual activity.
Discussing protection and safe sex practices is vital. Explain the different types of protection, such as condoms, birth control pills, and other forms of contraception. Teach them that using protection is essential to prevent sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.
Discussing healthy relationships is essential to the birds and bees talking. Teach your children that relationships should be based on trust, respect, and communication. Explain the importance of setting boundaries and respecting them. Encourage them to seek help if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable in a relationship.
Sharing your own experiences and mistakes can help your children understand that sex and relationships are complicated and sometimes challenging. Share stories about your own experiences and what you learned from them. This will help your children feel more comfortable and less judged.
The birds and bees should not be a one-time conversation, but an ongoing dialogue. Check in with your children regularly and ask if they have any questions or concerns. Encourage them to come to you if they need advice or guidance.
Talking to your teenage children about sex and relationships can be an awkward conversation, but also an essential one. Remember, the birds and bees talk is not just about sex education. It is also about teaching your children to respect themselves and others and to make informed decisions about their bodies and relationships.
Image source for 8 ways to teach sex education in India: Instaphotos, free and edited on CanvaPro
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