Most parents are shocked that sexual health educators advise that they should start taking about sex to their children as early as 6 years. Right from childhood we gently remind them to keep their dresser drown and not to touch themselves in pubic since children have no sense of privacy. Children have a healthy curiosity about their body parts and should be told correctly so that they do not associate the body parts with shame or overwhelming shyness. So, right from preschool, it’s important to answer question about private parts, where babies come from honestly but simply.
Children may touch each other in their private parts out of curiosity so then its time to teach them about “a good touch” and “a bad touch” and that their private areas are not to be touched by anyone but themselves. Then comes puberty ,which is happening earlier these days and so when the child knows what to expect, it is less scary for them. It is wise to take the first step to explain, don’t wait for other to ask since she might never ask you and then would get wrong information from friends, magazines or media.
Around the ages of 9 – 12, many girls are convinced that they “know all about sex” without really understanding anything of it. Hormones start flowing at this age and bodies start changing, raising a lot of questions and emotions. Reassurance is important-menstrual issues, breast building, growth spurt, body hair- is all a perfectly normal aspect. By twelve, make sure that they know the risks of sexual practices. Try to see the TV shows that your daughter likes to see, the site she sees on her computer and discuss what she has seen.
At a receptive time, be explicit and tell her your family’s beliefs and what is expected from them. Values have to be taught by good communication and not by being judgmental too late. By 13-18 years of age hormones are in an over drive. Children normally will shy away from parents, but no matter how awkward it may be, talk to her about sexuality. Make her understand that the sex saturate media is unreal and not so common. Also guide on relationships, commitment, and how to differentiate right from wrong, integrity in her behavior and not the least, use of birth control. As mother, we have to accept the fact that at some time we may not be able to control/dictate her actions, but what we can do is to help our daughters learn to take responsibility for their actions and given them information to make sound decisions.