I know a lot is being said regarding educating kids on matters of sexuality, to teach them about good touch and bad touch, to talk to them matter of factly. Every time I read a post, I am reminded that I need to breach this topic. But then when the situation arises, I find myself quite tongue tied.
I am not an outright extrovert in my own friend circle. Talking about sexuality and alternate sexuality in casual conversation doesnot come naturally to me. Infact on a recent holiday, there was a gay couple on our boat. They were sitting quite close for comfort. I found myself trying to avoid this discussion with my kids when they wanted to understand why a man was giving a kiss on another man’s cheeks. Not that I even told them that a woman kissing a man was normal. But I guess kids grow up forming their own opinion based on what they see around them.
Also, I really don’t know how much should be told to the kids since I also don’t want them to grow up thinking that the world is full of pedophiles, eve teasers etc. Kids are forgetful and educating them once may not be enough. But avoiding this discussion is not an option.
Telling them that you were born as a result of sex between mommy and daddy is far-fetched. I don’t think I can tell them that yet. But I can am trying to introduce the correct names for private parts to start with.
I have had the swimsuit discussion, which essentially means parts which are covered by the swimsuit are private and the child has the right to refuse and reach out for help when this rule is breached or when they feel vulnerable. The tricky part is to remind them at appropriate intervals only, too much reminder may make them feel threatened by the world around them.
Around the age of 9 years I can tell them that it’s natural to have their chest swell up. It’s part of entering tweens or teens. Menstruation is another topic which needs to be talked about, but I am yet to figure out how to talk about this so that they don’t feel embarrassed about it. I will write about it once I have it figured out.
At a recent workshop conducted by SheThePeople.TV I realized why it’s important to introduce the concept of alternate sexuality to kids, maybe around the age of 10 or 12. When a young teenager experiences attraction towards someone from the same gender, he may feel very confused. His actions may be mocked upon by his classmates. His manners may be effeminate. He may be subjected to bulling, he may develop a low self esteem, there have also been many incidences of suicide. The right to live is the first and foremost right. Having an alternate sexuality is NOT a disease.
Hence if not my generation, the next generation should accept that as a way of life. Each one of us individually reading this post can make that difference.
Though I am quite shy in these matters, I am going to explain to my kids next them when they ask, I will say – “Its their personal choice. Most men marry women, but some men like to marry men and some woman like to marry woman. It’s their personal choice and we should respect their choices.”