Sunday September 23, 2012
THE report “Frank and factual approach” in StarEducate (Sept 9) was an informative piece and deserves to be taken seriously by all parents and teachers.
Teaching children the facts on sex and sexual development needs to be done with care, sensitivity and in a holistic manner.
Coping with changes in sexual development is an issue every child must face, and the challenge is even more critical for children during their formative years. Educators and parents must therefore regard sexuality as part of human drives and needs that must be correctly channelled.
The necessity for giving correct information about sexual development and sexuality to children is of great importance. Children nowadays are exposed to knowledge about sex through the mass media, Internet, books, movies, their peers and relationships.
And if they are being misled and not taught to differentiate between what is appropriate and what is not, they are most likely going to end up exhibiting inappropriate behaviour or falling victims to evil and unscrupulous adults.
Parents can and must play an important role in imparting knowledge of sex to their young ones. Children must be taught to know that they could be used as objects by some adults to gratify their deviant sexual needs.
One very critical area is the need to inform the kids as to what constitutes “appropriate and inappropriate touching” and parents need to emphasise this aspect to their young sons and daughters.
A child needs to be constantly reminded about who, how, when and where he or she is touched. It could be when a child is visiting a doctor or in a classroom.
Gone are the days when we reminded our children to be wary of strangers, these days we have to remind them to look out for neighbours, friends and even relatives.
After all, it has been proven that many cases of sexual abuse involving children are committed by people who are known to the victim, some of whom are “trusted” family members.
I think that parents must open up and be willing to talk and communicate with their children on all matters relating to sex, physical and mental abuse.
Today, sex education is indeed important and practical as we cannot expect teenagers to follow rules blindly without knowing why they should follow them. It is important to explain to our youngsters the need to abstain from sex especially unprotected sex until after marriage.
Children must be taught responsible sexual behaviour from the time they are ready for such instruction. It is also vital to teach them safety and preventive measures so that they will know how to handle situations should they be sexually assaulted or abused.
The many rape cases involving young girls and abandoned babies are worrying and we all can play a role by reducing and even preventing these tragedies.
A sound sexual education will save the child untold stress from guilt, fear, remorse, pain and retribution in the future.
Children are our greatest hope and they must be treated with respect and dignity.