We teach children to read and we expect them to read. We teach them about numbers and we expect them to be able to do mathematical equations. So then how can we not teach our kids about human sexuality and still expect them to make sensible love and relationship decisions? Some societies say that sex education will cause more pregnancy, but drivers’ education certainly doesn’t cause more accidents, does it?
The wonderful thing about explaining sex to kids is that you usually don’t have to bring up the subject. It comes up on its own. Whether they see a couple kissing, a pregnant woman or dogs mating, opportunities abound to make talking about sex a normal and natural part of growing up. Be the first to discuss love and sex in a positive context. If you don’t start talking to your kids early, it’s not going to take any time at all before they think they know more than you. Then, don’t count on them listening.
As parents, you need to be their mentors. So, you must be well versed on sexuality. As humans, our sexuality is the second basic instinct after survival, and we start our sexual journey from a very early age. Below are four sexual developmental stages that we all go through. As parents, it is important for you to familiarize yourself with these so that you can communicate better with your children.
- Experience oral exploration and gratification
- Develop an awareness of their body parts, including the genitals
- Develop a sense of trust.
- Master control over elimination (weeing and pooing)
- Become aware of our body parts and sex differences
- Develop an interest in family relationships and sex roles
- Identify with the parent of the same sex
- Experiment in innocent sex play
- Can run around the house naked and feel no shame
Children and early teens:
- Develop an intense curiosity about sexuality
- Participate in same-sex play activities
- Keep their sexual thoughts to ourselves
- Enjoy jokes and songs with sexual content.
You should also discuss the various physical changes and how they can affect your child’s emotions, preferably before they occur. Here is a list of physical changes that children go through and need to be prepared for with your help:
- Wet Dreams
- Pubic Hair
- Breast Development
Do you remember how some of the above made you feel emotionally? Sharing your own experiences with your child can be very reassuring for them. What is love? – How can you define love to a child? Here are some definitions…
1. Love is from Old English lufu, ‘to desire’ and Latin lubere, ‘to please’.
2. Love is a deep feeling of affection.
3. In Buddhism Love is wanting others to be happy
4. Love is a circle that begins with children and ends with grandparents. It creates, feeds, guides and helps children grow so that they can become like mommy and daddy (explanation for toddlers).
5. Love can be different for everyone, but comes from the same special place…the heart. And that is why people draw hearts when they speak of Love (for young kids).
6. Giving & receiving love is the meaning of life! (adults) Now come up with your own definition of what love is for toddlers, kids and teens.
This is an excerpt from The Loveologist Guide to Parental Concerns by Dr. Ava Cadell, Ph.D., Ed.D. Visit Dr. Ava’s bookstore at Loveology University — http://www.loveologyuniversity.com/BookStore.aspx?a_aid=sward