Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Let's Talk About Sex

"The only sex education I got was from sex movies. My parents never brought it up apart from the story of Joseph. Joseph got the chance to have carnal knowledge of his master's wife, but NAY, he chose not to do such wickedness against God and HIMSELF. God being pleased with him made him a ruler in a strange land."

"She started telling me just a bit when I was 18 (WHEN I ALREADY KNEW THE A to Z OF SEX) ...Like seriously you gotta love African Parents. "

"As for me, they never gave me sex education. However, My Mum kept a sex education book in her room and would ask me to bring another book close to it for her. She knew this would make me read the book since I was the curious type. My Dad believed I knew much already. He would give me a twenty leaf exercise book and tell me to write all I know about HIV/Aids. This was their own way of doing sex education"

"My Mum always bought me books as she couldn't talk much and my Aunt was always there to answer some of my silly questions. My Dad was way too embarrassed to talk of such things. The day he found out I had reached womanhood, he said "my dear you should never allow a man see or touch your nakedness lest you would be pregnant and I would disown you".

OK, so we can see that a lot of parents shied away from the subject of sex education. For too long, we have handed this major personal and social responsibility to the education system and we wonder why we are caught in a world of diminishing returns when it comes to some children and teens fully understanding the consequences of risky behaviour and actions. Sex education is often limited to biology and disease without giving them the chance to reflect on their values and priorities. When the issue is sex education in school, there are at least three groups: abstinence education, birth control education on the assumption that teen sex happens, and a third group that prefers to deal with the subject at home.

Sex is no longer discussed only behind closed doors and in privacy. Television, movies and talk shows have brought the discussion out in the open. In this sexually charged culture in which we live, parents can help abuse-proof their kids by teaching them what it means to be sexually responsible. But I must say it is advantageous to censor what children watch and listen to, some call it shielding them I call it preserving their innocence. 

As parents, we need to always keep open lines of communication and trust in order for our children to come to us to ask about certain things instead of one random friend at school. We need to become their confidants and best friends. If they know they can trust us not to overreact and give them honest answers, they are more likely to come to us. Quietly observe your child's conduct with friends make them understand concepts like acceptable and unacceptable touching as early as possible.

These questions will arise and it is our responsibility to give the most honest and age-appropriate answer "Daddy planted a seed and it grew in to you." might be good for a four or five year old. When you feel uneasy about discussions or certain questions your children ask, say so. It's okay to say, "I'm not sure I know the answer to that. I'll look it up and get back to you." Then do that. If your children are too young to understand or cope with certain in-depth concepts, it's okay to say, "That's as complicated as Greek! Give me time to think about the answer." Just be sure you always get back to them.

Let's teach our sons that they are responsible to protect others, not to exploit them. They are never to push a girl to do sexual things with them. Before they reach puberty, boys need to know that they will be tempted to explore adult ideas and behaviours in the sexual arena, but they must overcome such temptations. Explain to them the reason they will feel this way is because of their hormones. One guy recounted how he approached every date: "I stand in front of my mirror and I say to myself, Steve, you stand in the shoes of Jane's father until you take her home to him.' With that in my mind, I have always been able to resist the strong temptation to get sexual with my date." How I wish every young man thought and acted like him!

A while back I watched the Christian movie"Courageous"  (a must see for all families, you should really see it). In one scene, Nathan sets out to teach his 15-year-old daughter, Jade, why she can't date quite yet and how he and her mother will be proactively involved in getting to know any young man she's interested in. A special father-daughter dinner provides the backdrop for him presenting her with a purity ring—which she eagerly accepts.

Most importantly, teach your kids to wait until marriage for sexual intercourse. Teach them that in the marriage union, sex is a wonderful pleasure. Most of us who teach this idea are ridiculed, but experience over time verifies that medically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, postponing sex until after marriage is wise. Let's make our children the role models for other kids, when your son or daughter's friends come to them for advice or to share something in confidence, our children should be filled with wise counsel that they got from us. 

Ijeoma Olujekun


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