Sex education in childhood

Sex education in childhood.

The sexual education of children is an issue that causes many headaches for parents and that many times they do not know how to deal with it adequately.

Talking about sexuality in the family is not an easy or comfortable topic, neither for children nor for parents. On the one hand, children rarely want to know something that has to do with their parents’ sexuality.

It is not uncommon for them to respond with bad words or gestures of displeasure to any comment or any fact that reveals the sexual life of the parents. It is much more comfortable for a son to assume that his parents do not have a sex life.

But if it is unpleasant for children to accept that their parents can lead an active and pleasant sexual life, for parents it is not usually a reason for joy, having to talk about their children’s sexual life or having to answer their first questions or doubts in this regard.

” Parents need training and information to be able to face the sexual education of their children.”

However, this information is often scarce when the father prefers to live with his back to reality and ignore all aspects of his children’s sexuality. And if we have said that information and training are needed, it is difficult to explain what is unknown.

Our starting point must be to recognize that the human being is a sexed being, and that sexuality permeates human nature from the moment of birth and is expressed throughout life in a different way depending on the age of the subject.

(1) – The importance of sexual education in the family.

Child sexuality.

Child sexuality

It has rained a lot, since Sigmund Freud, revolutionized and made the Victorian society of his time shake, with the discovery of infantile sexuality.

In 1905 he published his book “Three Essays on Sexual Theory” where he establishes the theory that the sexuality of the child does not begin in adolescence, but in his earliest childhood, attributing to gestures as “innocent” as thumb sucking a sexual significance through which the child gratifies himself.

If even today, it is difficult for us to think about our children and accept an oral sexual phase or an anal sexual phase in them, we can imagine how their contemporaries felt before such a statement.

This article aims to lay the foundations for the training of parents and provide them with tools so that they can face the sexual education of their children in a healthy and intelligent way. For this reason we are not going to talk about Freud, psychoanalysis or his sexual theories.

“We are going to try that parents know how to recognize the signs of sexual activity in their children and know how to react at all times, giving them the information they need.”

This means that they should not try to hide information from their children’s questions, but that they should not overwhelm the child with encyclopedic details about sexuality, which the child is not able to understand and does not even ask. The information must be natural, spontaneous and bidirectional.

Faced with a question from his son about sexuality, the father can reply with another question to the child, to test the waters, and find out how far his knowledge of the subject goes and how far his explanations should go.

Many times the child is simply testing him, asking what he already knows, with the sole purpose of reaffirming himself or verifying the sincerity of the parents.

Comprehensive sexual education.

Sexuality should not be approached from a purely biological aspect, limiting ourselves to describing the human organism, its sexual organs, the differences between men and women and the reproductive function.

“Sexuality is much more than these biological factors and must encompass the affective aspects of the couple relationship.”

The sexual relationship must be understood as a form of communication in the couple, with a strong sexual charge, but accompanied by expressions of affection, affection and tenderness that enrich the relationship.

Likewise, when talking about sexual relationships, important aspects of the personality such as the recognition of one’s own values ​​and that of the “other” , such as love, respect, responsibility and commitment , should not be ignored .

A sexuality that lacks the affective aspects or that does not take into account the aforementioned values, will be an immature and deficient sexuality.

Sexuality in the first years of life.

From the moment of birth, your child needs all of your affection and your caresses. Every time a father kisses, caresses or hugs his child, he is doing a double task, on the one hand meeting a basic need of the baby, but on the other hand transmitting non-verbal information about the importance of these displays of affection and their importance. in the future development of the child transmitting security.

“The anatomical differences between boys and girls are an inexhaustible source of childhood curiosity.”

From the age of two, children are fascinated by everything that has to do with toilet training and they realize the anatomical differences between boys and girls.

The infantile masturbation.

In this stage appears infantile masturbation. That is, your child can touch his genitals, even in public, both for pleasure and curiosity or boredom, without giving it the meaning that we adults give it, since it is not the same motivation that causes it.

“It is important that you take it naturally and do not scold him for it (<< That is not done >>)”.

When you scold your son for touching his genitals, you are giving him a negative meaning that he will not understand and will continue to do so, creating feelings of guilt in him.

You can try to distract him with something else, to later explain that this behavior is not bad, but that it should be done in private, like many other things.

Take advantage of bath time to show him the different parts of the body. Call things by their name (“Girls have a vagina and boys have a penis”) and do not look for substitutes, or diminutives. When he becomes more verbal, you can also explain what the functions of each part of the body are.

If your child sees you naked, it will draw their attention and ask you questions about your body, comparing it with his, so it is important to answer him simply and clearly.

(2) – Sexual anatomical differences must be explained to children.

The sexuality of the child between the ages of four and five.

The sexuality of the child between the ages of four and five.

At this stage, curiosity about sexuality increases and the questions I ask you will depend on the naturalness and sincerity of your answers.

Parents are the first model of reference for your child around the sexual. That is why the information you provide is not enough, but rather that you do it at ease by offering it and living your own sexuality naturally.

Your child will start asking questions about how babies are made or where they come out. It is appropriate that you give him a general explanation that he can understand.

They will also start the questions about what they see in their environment (“Why do they kiss, what do they do?”).

“It is important to tell the truth and not focus sexuality exclusively on procreation, but on the affective relationship that also exists.”

If your son surprises you having sex, he may interpret it as that you are hurting each other or are arguing. It is important that you do not get alarmed and simply reassure him by saying that it is a way to show your affection in private.

It is normal for sexual games to appear between children of the same age. This will be natural for your child. In the face of these behaviors, never scold him and, calmly, try to divert his attention to something else. It is not about encouraging you, but about taking it naturally, without creating feelings of guilt.

Sexuality between the ages of six and eight.

Sexuality between the ages of six and eight

Your child enters a stage where his sexual curiosity can be lethargic, since his interest will focus more on the intellectual.

She may start to feel ashamed to show her naked body and see that of others, so it is important that you respect her privacy.

“Between the ages of six and eight, the feeling of shame in the face of nudity appears.”

His sources of information are expanded (teachers, friends, older siblings …), but it will always be essential that you listen carefully and patiently and satisfy his curiosity. Otherwise, you could look elsewhere for the answer or generate your own explanation, which could turn out to be false.

(3) – Body and emotional changes occur between children.

Body and emotional changes.

Body and emotional changes.

In the sexual education of children it is necessary that you inform them of the bodily and emotional changes that they are going to experience so that they know and understand their own sexuality and that of others. For this you must also explain the changes that people of the opposite sex are going to undergo.

“It is convenient that, around the age of nine, you give your child a more concrete explanation of the sexual act.”

To do this, it is important to always take into account the information that you are able to understand.

Physical changes that boys experience.

  • Growth acceleration.
  • Voice change.
  • Perspiration and body odor.
  • Pimples and acne
  • Beard development.
  • Hair in the armpits and pubis.
  • The testicles and penis grow.
  • Nocturnal ejaculations.

Physical changes that girls experience.

  • Growth acceleration.
  • Voice change.
  • Perspiration and body odor.
  • Pimples and acne
  • Hair in the armpits and pubis.
  • The breasts grow.
  • Menstruation.

Emotional changes that your children experience:

  • Humor changes.
  • Anxiety and tension.
  • Defensive attitudes.
  • Concern about one’s own body.
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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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