Sex Education: For Parents
Sex education isn’t spoken about nearly enough. As a parent, you might find yourself confused about the best way to be present for your child.
Being open and available.
The best thing you can do for your child is to answer their questions accurately or offer to search for the answers together. Let them know that you understand this could be a confusing and overwhelming time, but that it’s all a natural part of growing up.
Be proactive and available for getting them the resources they need. If you are the parent of a girl child, this might include buying them a training bra or pads and educating them on how to use it. If you are the parent of a boy child, this might include teaching them how to shave.
Understanding precocious or delayed puberty.
Precocious puberty is very early onset of puberty before the age of 8 or 9. While early puberty may not always be a cause for concern, in some cases it could be prompted by an abnormality in the pituitary glands or hypothalamus (these are the glands that are responsible for hormone regulation). If you suspect that this is the case, it is best to consult with a doctor who will advise the best possible course of diagnosis and treatment.
Similarly, if your child is close to 18 years of age and still hasn’t experienced symptoms of puberty, it may be best to arrange for a consultation.
Empowering your child.
We now live in a world where information is available at the click of a button. It is therefore more important than ever to empower your child to make better decisions. This includes talking about safe sex, abstinence, unplanned pregnancies, and protection from sexually transmitted infections.
Some ways you can do this include:
- Talk about your own experiences with puberty and sex.
- Let them know that no subject is taboo, and no question is silly.
- Encourage them to do their own research and ask you questions.
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