Sex education for children is a tough subject for parents to conquer with their teenagers, and for others it is an openly talked about conversation at home.
I am for sure on the ‘open’ side. I see no point in hiding anything from your children. At some point in their lives they will come into contact with drugs, alcohol and sex. These days it is happening at younger and younger ages. Obviously picking your times to say things and keeping things age appropriate is still important, but I definitely believe in being open right from the start. It will make things so much easier as they grow older. My daughter is 8 but already I am very open with her about alcohol, drugs and sex. But once again ‘each to their own’.
Personal Experiences with Sex Education
I have been personal training for years now and personal training can be very much a counselling session at times. I have helped so many of my clients ‘get down to reality’ when it comes to the ‘sex’ topic and broaching it with their teenagers. I have seen mother/ daughter relationships in dreadful states, not communicating and everything turning into a big argument and ending up going round and round in circles and getting nowhere.
I remember one time in particular a client came to me and said “Lisa, I don’t want my daughter to go on the pill, she is too young.” She was 16 at the time and had been with her partner for two years. Hmmmm, to be honest in this situation it is blindly obvious that her daughter is having sex and that she was asking her mother for help and guidance but obviously when you are a parent the last thing you want to know about or think about is your 16 year old having sex. As much as we would like to stop our kids from having sex at a young age, sometimes it’s just going to happen whether you like it or not. So I say you have two choices.
1. Don’t be so blind and deal with your issues about it and or
2. Help your teenager; I guarantee they will appreciate it.
I talked to my client as I knew her daughter and new damn well she was having sex. Now I guess there were a few ways to approach this. Talk to her, take her into family planning, get her on some contraception and start talking more openly about sex and protection, STI’s etc. If you already have your child on the bad side of you it will be much harder to turn this situation around. I tell you though…after she took her to family planning and her mother accepted that she was having sex, their relationship went from what I would have called ‘weak’ – no communication, arguing, and going around in circles – to a very strong relationship where they now talk about everything. Its about five years on now and they have such a friendship bond it is awesome to see!
Some of you may think totally differently and obviously religion doesn’t come into the situation I have just described as those people were not religious. So overall I believe in keeping things open from day one. Obviously keeping and bearing in mind their age.
Let me know of any experiences you have faced and how you got around them.