Sexuality education – how to talk to your kids about sex : Sexuality education – how to talk to your kids about sex Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD Sex is not a 4 letter word ! : Sex is not a 4 letter word ! Curiosity about sex is natural.
People of ALL ages ( especially teens !) have questions about sexuality
Understanding how their body works and how to take care of it is part of building a healthy life.
Accurate information about sex and sexuality is a good thing. Three key messages : Three key messages Look for “teachable moments”
Be an “askable parent”
Do not censor information
Trust yourself – you know more than you realise ! Slide 5: Today’s kids live in the ‘information age’’
They are exposed to much more information – and misinformation - because of the media and the internet Slide 6: Parents are the first and primary sexual health educators of children Commonest concerns : Commonest concerns If I talk about sex, will this encourage them to “do it ” ? Slide 9: Just remember that study after study has shown that sex education DOES NOT lead to an increase in sexual activity … but it does lead to safer and more positive interactions now and in the future When to tell ? : When to tell ? She’s way too young for me to answer any questions about sex
My son will find out soon enough, so I will wait until he asks. She’s too young and innocent to understand.. : She’s too young and innocent to understand.. These days, kids are discovering sex and sexual behaviour younger and younger
You don't have to rush your child into sexuality education, but it's a good idea to play it by ear early
There really no way of knowing how much your child knows or doesn't know without talking to them. Slide 12: It is better to talk to them a year earlier than a minute later ! My son will find out soon enough, I will wait until he asks : My son will find out soon enough, I will wait until he asks Talking about sex can be embarrassing for anyone, especially for kids – and for their parents !
You need to protect your child ! Many sexual problems which can mar their life - STDs, sexual abuse and accidental pregnancy
It is important to talk to your child and make sure they feel comfortable coming to you. How much to tell : How much to tell This depends on:
the child’s age;
and your own values and comfort levels.
The answers should be appropriate for the age
COMMON SENSE is the best guide ! Who should tell? : Who should tell? The talk should be initiated by whichever parent is more comfortable communicating with the child. How to tell? : How to tell? Make the most of
TEACHABLE MOMENTS Teachable moments : Teachable moments These moments are all around you.
When you and your child
See a pregnant woman
Watch a TV commercial starring condoms or sanitary napkins
Watch a love scene in a movie
It's not really that important what you talk about, so long as you're talking.
This way, when your child needs to talk to someone, they'll know that it's okay to come to you. How to tell? : How to tell? Don't expect your child to come to you - they may feel too embarrassed to bring up sex issues with you, even if they have a problem they want to talk about. How to tell? : How to tell? Answer questions honestly. Your child will probably know if you're not being completely straight with them.
Use the right language.
Don’t get embarrassed Slide 20: You are your children's primary sexuality educators
You need to reassure your children that their sexual thoughts are natural and normal, not causes for guilt or shame
You need to understand your own feelings about sexuality
You also need to correct misinformation The key to success ? : The key to success ? Open, frank, honest
COMMUNICATION Barriers to communication : Barriers to communication Most children are embarrassed to bring up the subject with their parents
Some parents are even more embarrassed !
Some children feel guilty about having sexual thoughts
Parents and children may have difficulty seeing each other as individuals with sexual needs and desires Barriers to communication : Barriers to communication Many parents feel shy, embarrassed and uncomfortable with the subject
Parents often lack the communication skills needed to openly discuss sexuality
Parents often think they don't know enough about sexuality to give their children accurate information Slide 25: What one needs to do is to overcome these barriers by being an
“askable parent” Who is an askable parent ?Someone who… : Who is an askable parent ?Someone who… Can be approached for information and guidance…
Listens to a child and answers questions accurately
Knows what a child is capable of understanding at different ages Who is an askable parent ? : Who is an askable parent ? Has a sense of humor
Shares feelings that sexuality is a valuable part of being human
Encourages a child to ask for information
Is willing to repeat answers until a child is satisfied with the information given
Being an askable parent does not mean waiting to be asked. Do’s and Don’ts : Do’s and Don’ts Do try to relax
Do listen to your child’s question
Do keep your answer simple
Do pick the right time
Do realize the question may not always be what the child really wants to know Do’s and Don’ts : Do’s and Don’ts Do be prepared for repetition
Do educate yourself about child development
Do try to recognize your child's individual style
Do investigate your own feelings about sexuality
Do expect to feel uncomfortable Do’s and Don’ts : Do’s and Don’ts Don’t think you have to know everything
Don’t always wait for the child to ask
Don’t think it’s harmful to tell too much too soon
Don’t make fun of your child’s fanciful ideas
Don’t overload your child with information 10 tips to remember when talking with your teen about sex : 10 tips to remember when talking with your teen about sex Be an askable parent
Know the facts and respond in a straightforward manner
Don’t be afraid to give your children information
Respect your children’s privacy 10 tips to remember when talking with your teen about sex : 10 tips to remember when talking with your teen about sex Use natural opportunities for discussions about sexuality
Communicate your values
Discuss handling peer pressure
Respond with understanding to awkward situations
Encourage responsible behavior Important issues : Important issues How should I react to “dirty words”?
How should I respond when I find my child in a sexually awkward situation ?
Kissing a boyfriend ?
Seeing porno films or reading porno mags?
Visiting porno sites on the internet ? Important issues : Important issues When and how should I warn my child about child molesting ?
How can I teach my children to protect themselves from sexual |abuse ? Common questions asked by four to nine year olds : Common questions asked by four to nine year olds Where did I come from?
Why can’t daddies have babies?
Can children have babies?
Why do girls have breasts?
Why do boys have a penis and girls don’t?
Do you and daddy make love? Common questions asked by nine to twelve year olds : Common questions asked by nine to twelve year olds How do you make babies?
What is a period? And why does one get it?
what is masturbation? Is it bad?
What is an orgasm?
What does puberty mean?
When can boys start shaving?
What is a wet dream?
Why do kids get acne? Common questions asked by twelve year-olds plus : Common questions asked by twelve year-olds plus What is sexual intercourse and how does one go about it?
What is contraception?
Can you get AIDS by Kissing?
Is it OK to be Gay?/lesbian?
Who are “Hijras”?
What does an abortion mean?
Is it OK to have oral sex? Slide 38: Do you think we’ve done enough homework so we can talk to our kids about sex ? HELP ! Health Education Library for People, D N Road, Near Excelsior cinemaOpp Chimanlal’s : HELP ! Health Education Library for People, D N Road, Near Excelsior cinemaOpp Chimanlal’s Books you can read at HELP : Books you can read at HELP What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys by Lynda Madaras
More speaking of sex: What your children need to know and when they need to know it by Meg Hickling (2001)
From diapers to dating: A parent's guide to raising sexually healthy children by Debra W. Hafner
The art of talking with your teenager by Paul W. Swets
Sex education to adolescents by Dr Vithal Prabhu Books : Books Many books available for children
Buy them and keep them in your house
Your kids will find them ! Slide 46: Remember the question today is…
Not whether they will get information about sex, but HOW and WHEN ? Slide 47: We, as parents, have the responsibility of being the first and primary sexual health educators of our children ! The Growing Up Talk we give to your children : The Growing Up Talk we give to your children The purpose of this talk is to encourage children to ask questions
It’s a “teaching opportunity “
It’s a chance for you to discuss this touchy issue with your children – make the most of it ! GROWING UP – What you need to know about the facts of life : GROWING UP – What you need to know about the facts of life Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
Malpani Infertility Clinic
Colaba, Bombay. Why is it so hard for kids to get information about sex ? : Why is it so hard for kids to get information about sex ? Kids are shy to ask questions about such sensitive issues
Adults ( parents and teachers) are equally reluctant to talk about it ! Some kids think they “know-it-all”
Not talking about it is the worst thing to do ! What do you often end up doing ? : What do you often end up doing ? Since you need answers ( just like we all did when we were growing up) , you will ask your friends; or get this information through TV or the internet
Unfortunately, this information is often unreliable , wrong and misleading
You often end up having misconceptions which are never cleared Today’s children are much more aware : Today’s children are much more aware Kids have become smarter
Exposure to sexual topics is far more pervasive today than it was a few years ago, and children exposed at a much younger age
TV ( MTV)
TV serials ( “Friends”) and movies
You know a lot – but a lot of it may be wrong ! Talking to your parents : Talking to your parents A lot of things have changed since your parents were children themselves, but they had the same concerns and feelings you have today when they were kids of your age
It’s helpful to talk to them about what they went through when they were your age Dangers ! : Dangers ! Exposure to erotica or pornography on the net, TV and movies can be extremely confusing and disturbing .
There are more reliable sources of information available – use these !
Your parents should be the best source – help them to become “askable” parents ! When should you know about sex- the “syllabus” ( SIECUS, US ) : When should you know about sex- the “syllabus” ( SIECUS, US ) Use correct terms for all sexual body parts, including the reproductive organs.
Understand that their bodies belong to themselves and that they have a right to say "No" to unwanted touch.
Know where babies come from, how they "get in" and "get out."
Be able to ask trusted adults questions about sexuality.
Know that "sex talk" is for private times at home. Learning about sex- the “syllabus” ( SIECUS, US ) : Learning about sex- the “syllabus” ( SIECUS, US ) By the age of 5 ! Common worries ! : Common worries ! It's common, and normal, to imagine kissing and having sex with other people.
Most teenagers have 'crushes' on adults they fancy
It's also common to have sexual fantasies about members of the same sex, as well as members of the opposite sex. Puberty : Puberty Puberty is commonly yet incorrectly used as a synonym for adolescence. Actually, it refers only to the physical changes that occur during adolescence.
Three kinds of physical changes will occur in your body:
development of primary sex characteristics
appearance of secondary sex characteristics. Physical Development : Physical Development During early adolescence, your body begins to produce the hormones necessary for pubertal development.
Your reproductive system matures, preparing you to become an adult Male Reproductive System : Male Reproductive System Male Pelvis : Male Pelvis Male Genitalia : Male Genitalia Female Genitalia - External and Internal : Female Genitalia - External and Internal Cross Section of Female Pelvis : Cross Section of Female Pelvis Female Reproductive System : Female Reproductive System How the egg and sperm meet ! : How the egg and sperm meet ! Puberty blues : Puberty blues The changes that occur during puberty can often be very confusing and frustrating. It helps if you can talk about it to someone you trust. Boys v/s girls : Boys v/s girls Girls mature faster and are usually smarter
Can be a problem in a co-ed school !
Have to learn to get along with each other Be kind to your parents ! : Be kind to your parents ! Adolescence is a hard time for you – but it’s even harder for your parents !
They often wonder what happened to their “sweet obedient baby” !
Living with adolescents can be hard – try to make your parents’ lives easier – remember, that they love you ! COMMON QUESTIONS BOYS ASK ABOUT GIRLS : COMMON QUESTIONS BOYS ASK ABOUT GIRLS What is a “ normal “ period ?
What is menarche ?
What is menopause ?
Do periods make you weak ?
What are tampons ?
What is PMT ( premenstrual tension) ? The dark side of sex : The dark side of sex Teens want to experiment – Just Do It !
Your parents and teachers seem to be wet blankets, with their rules and dos and donts
Just want to protect you !
Dangers – STDs, unplanned pregnancies, sexual abuse, porno, rape, drug abuse Quiz : Quiz What is the first sign of puberty in boys?
Pubic hair starts to grow
Testicles get bigger
Penis gets bigger Quiz : Quiz How do hormones travel around the body?
In the blood Want to find out more ? : Want to find out more ? Ask your parents ! They love you and will be happy to help
The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask !
You need to know – ignorance can be dangerous
Many good books are available – ask your parents to buy them !