If we talk about the right age for sex education, then a very simple answer there is no right age for sex education. It starts from the moment of birth of a baby; as soon as the baby steps into the world the first word in the air is boy/girl’.
This never happens that one day we wake up in the morning and say, today we will brief about sex education. In fact, it is the after effect of the questions asked by the children. This triggers us to think about “sex education.”
The trigger could be a question from the child, like ‘Where do babies come from?’ Parents often try to escape from such a question. Don’t get defensive with such questions and also don’t spoil the mood of the child. It is in the child’s nature to ask questions as they grow due to TV or from society or school etc.
One must answer the questions of the child with an answer suitable to his age and up to the limit of his understanding. Never give wrong information to the child for example; when he had asked where babies come from do not answer they come from the sky. Tell them they come from the Mother’s belly.
Always keep in mind that sex education must be age appropriate. The narration should be in a way, which a child can understand easily. But in today’s world with harsh realities, we cannot give them fairy tale type answers. At the same time, we have to update them with the truth of life and that too, according to their age.
Children falling into the age group of 4 to 6 years
Sex education to these age group children can be given on their body parts and while introducing different body parts, one should also educate them about genitals and privacy around body issues and also awareness of good touch and bad touch. Child molestation is on the rise nowadays and so it is important to keep your child informed about people’s good or bad intentions towards them. You can tell your child that if someone touches his private part then it is wrong to touch and children can understand this easily. If some unpleasant happens then children will always discuss this with you.
Children falling into the age group of 7 to 12 years
Sex education in this age group children should know about the basic approach of privacy, nudity and respect for others in relationships along with good touch and bad touch. Basics about puberty should be taught towards the end of this age. The conclusion is that if the children are to be taught about sex education in a natural way then it is always best. One should be open with them. Inform them about the physical changes of the body during adolescence.
Teens from 13 to 19 years
Children get amazed with the changes in their body, Sex education is very essential to this age group of children. Parents are the right mentors and can give the right information about physical changes.
When the child reaches to end of this phase tell them that sexual self-control is a good thing and it will be better for their health and career both. Also, tell them to be careful of having relationships before marriage. Studies revealed that children who can talk to their parents about sex are generally better informed about the pros and cons of sexual relationships during adolescence and after.
The major role can be played by the father for the boys and should talk frankly to the child. The mother should give sex education to her daughter teenage girls about the physical changes that happen in the body of a girl according to age. Being the mother you can also give the right information about menstrual periods, hygiene and sanitary napkins. In the same way, during breast development teach how to wear the right bra clean the hair around sex organs and armpit for proper hygiene. Never feel shy on these matters as except parents nobody can guide properly on sex education to their children. Rest other people will always misguide. When the girl grows older into adolescence the mother should be careful as this is a time when the mother can share her own experience related to sex. Give her proper direction at this age in sex education.
Children are advised to be careful about relations with opposite sex especially girls as often they are not aware of the resulting complications of pregnancy abortion etc. To talk about sex education is the prior duty and responsibility of each mother. If the child knows his limits of friendship then the problem will never rise.
Now, in the end, we repeat which age is appropriate to teach sex education?
After going through the entire details, basically, now is the right age. Never think of early and late. And the earlier we start, the easier it becomes! It is much better to get over the ‘embarrassment factor’ when your kids are younger and are asking easier questions. As kids get older, their questions can become trickier to answer.
And the more we talk about sex with our kids, the more we become used to talking with them about sex education with our kids.
Parents are the best guide, mentor and a friend to their Children