14 year old Aditi had a problem, “Changes are occurring in my body and I am experiencing strange attraction towards youngsters of my age; is curious, at the same time a matter of concern also. I need to know about the changes occurring to my physical body, but the family members, specially my mother avoids answering. Increasing dominance of western culture and the vulgarity being shown in the TV, are mind – boggling. I quite understand the meaning of “I am young but not an idiot” but I want to know much more in this matter.
Aditi is not the only child to have such questions about sexuality; the girls of her age do possess such inquisitive feelings. Only few get satisfactory replies to their question on this matter.
However, in today’s scientific age, where open discussion on this subject is considered to be inferiority and reading books, magazines, periodicals on sexuality is termed as immoral where shall these girls tend answers to their questions? Isn't our narrow minded approach responsible for this?
Sexual behaviour is a natural instinct in human beings. This instinct develops slowly in girls & boys right from their birth. Social environment, religious culture and the parental affection received by the child up to the age of 8 to 10 reflects in sexual emotions rising during adolescence.
The internal and bodily changes occurring during the adolescence, goes to develop emotional upsurge in the child. Their upcoming personality also reflects in this period. In the present TV infested age this development normally commences at the age of 10 and is completed by 16th year. It is natural at this age to give vent to ideas on sexual or any subject as also to think about the strange changes occurring in the body. Normally, children expect a satisfactory explanation to their problems from the parents, however it proves to be a difficult task for the parents to give appropriate and satisfactory answer to their siblings. This is apparently due to the fact that the modern day changes are quite different from the changes that occurred in them during that age.
How are the babies born ? Where do they come from? From which place my brother/ sister came ? What is menses? How and why does it come? Why boys do not have menstruation? Why marriage is essential? How do women conceive? What is abortion ? Can child birth happen before marriage?
These and thousands of other such questions haunt the adolescent young minds, expecting satisfactory replies.
Not satisfying inquisitive minds, giving evasive replies, efforts to avoid such subjects, scolding to quieten them or telling that they would know by themselves when time comes - all these are improper ways for dealing with the inquisitive mind of the child.
Youngsters tend to get a shock when they actually realize that their parents lied to them and mislead them. Such a situation leads them to determine, not to open themselves to their parents. In fact an open discussion on such subjects is essential to develop friendly relation between parents and child.
Kids passing through the tender adolescence period are ignorant about the changes occurring in their body. In this period, they are burdened to formulate their educational career. In such a state when their enquiries fail to get proper answers, they tend seek other sources, which eventually devours the child. These range from vulgar magazines, internet, depend on blue films or talk to their friends on these subjects.
However, these avenues instead of increasing their knowledge, drive them to unwanted paths, and prove responsible for the disaster. Hence, it is essential that the parents prepare themselves to discuss openly with their kids on these subjects. Unless parents understand that such questions arise naturally in the minds of their children and raising such issues is not improper, they would not be able to guide their child properly.
How to guide children:
- In order to provide proper guidance to children, a close watch on their behavior is essential including timely communication, so that children develop self-confidence.
- If conversation on sexual matters proves difficult then arrangement for providing books on this subject should be made by father for son and by mother for daughter. However, the books must be gone through before providing the same to children, to confirm suitability.
- Parents should fully understand and take this for granted that information and sexual matters are equally important compared to knowledge of other worldly matters of life.
- Due to changes in the inspiration fluids in the body it is natural to develop curiosity about them. Cropping up of innumerable queries in the mind and developing attraction towards opposite sex is just and ordinary matter at this age.
- Performing sexual activity in tender age can lead to several disorders (eg- venereal diseases, AIDS etc.). Similarly conceiving at small age can give rise to several problems is the future life. Parents must impart awareness in the kids in the regard.
- Putting multifarious restrictions on the girl when she become adolescent does not indicate that we have concern for her. “See now you are grown up so take care, don't talk to boys, they are bad, don’t go alone anywhere avoid going to neighbor when men are alone in the house, never believe a married man” – these and so many other wrong advises, produce hatred towards opposite sex in the mind of girl. Such teaching may prove harmful in their married life. Contrarily the girls should be given more freedom after proper guidance.
Sexual information – when and how?
There can be no limitation of age and time for providing sexual knowledge. This can be done even to a child of 5 years.
Children of tender age are often subjected to sexual information above their level of understanding, lured by relatives or physically abused. These victimized children remain helpless due to ignorance of the adults around them. If they are pre – informed about such things then they can protect themselves and inform their parents about such incidents.
Instead of scolding or beating children for any acts performed due to sexual attraction, they should be treated in a friendly manner. Information published in the newspapers/periodicals should be explained to them properly. Efforts should be made to give precise and satisfactory replies to their multifarious queries.
However, while imparting sexual knowledge, care should be taken to ensure that children do not desist from their educational career. They should be made to understand that sexual pleasure can be obtained in its fullest at the proper time. Instead of coercing them for studies they should be allowed to enjoy from play and entertainment. This may distract their attention from sexual – thought and may help in deciding their goal in life.
Important instructions for Parents and Teachers:
Parents and teachers are the ones who reply and explain the curiosity and questions raised by children in their tender age. On receiving proper guidance these children develop in to responsible citizens and parents. To remove the apposition of the parent –teacher management in regard to sexual education, they should be first be taught about lessons in sexual – education.
System of Sexual – Education
- Sexual – education should start from home, Once parents are awakened and the schools / colleges also start taking active part the child will automatically get awakened.
- Instead of criticizing and coercing element of hard- work and labour should be infused in their mind.
- Child needs solitude similar to elders. Constant hackling can distance the kid from parents.
- Sexual matter should discussed in plain and simple manner, instead of circumventing them hiding facts of giving tactical replies create more curiosity in the mind of children. This may result in less of attention towards studies and may further bad to wrongful deeds.
- Instead of waiting for a question from the child sexual information should be given voluntarily depending on age.
- While imparting sexual information special care should be taken to ensure that the child does not desist from his normal – studies and does not fall in bad ways.
- A close watch should be kept and day – to – day information should be obtained about the friends and the company which he keeps.
Proper and satisfactory replies to the questions arising during the adolescence period can go a long way in helping the youngsters in achieving happy and joyful married – life. Children can also protect themselves from sexual abuse and various other social atrocities.