The P6 boys were gathered together. Then gesturing to the genital area, our principal asked “Who has hair raise your hand”.
And that was Daddy’s own Sex Education experience :p
Sex Education is not easy for most parents.
-How should I approach the topic, and my child?
-When is the best time to teach?
-What should we share? Tips?
Some parents are worried that kids will be more curious and start exploring. We share the same thoughts.
#TrueStory Son: Daddy are you having a boner?
Sub-consciously, I went into “Damage control” mode. My first reaction was to scan around and checked whether anyone else heard what my boy just whispered.
Walau! (Oh My!) What did my son just blurted?
I was more embarrassed than angry.
Took a deep breathe, I need to be calm before I probed for answers.
” Interrogation Investigation”
Bewilderment was an understatement.
Where did my innocent boy picked up this term? Friends? Classmates or YouTube?
He does not even understand what is a boner!
(Parents would know, kids always utter words which they are clueless about)
Very often, kids just parrot (repeat) what siblings and peers would say or insinuate, without understanding the word, or potential impact.
Need another example? My other kid also blurted “Bastard ” because he caught it off drama’s subtitles! (I gave him a scolding, but on hindsight I should listen to him first. #DontJudge )
The “Discovery” in Sexuality Education very much applies to parents too :p
We are also learning how to teach.
Awareness and education
Kids, it is normal to be curious.
Parents, we have been through the teenage stage too, #过来人
It is ok to ask Dad about new “sexuality-related” terms which you come across. Erections and wet dreams are normal and part of puberty.
At home, parents will decide who is the more effective teacher.
I will defer menstruation and sanitation topics to the Mrs 🙂
Teachers are another avenue to impart Sex education awareness to children. However, Consistency and Effectiveness will differ from teacher to teacher.
One teacher with 40 students, the message might not be carried across, and some teachers might just go through motion
If parents have their reservations about teaching, I am going to assume that not all teachers will be comfortable sharing Sexual Education topics on Powerpoint.
Parents are still the first (and best) candidates for teaching Sexuality Education.
Google, Youtube as Teachers!
I was a teenager before, and I would always chat and joke about Sex Education topics with classmates and friends.
If we parents need only one motivation to teach, let it be WWW.
If we are not teaching Sex Education topics to our child, they will pickup knowledge (and myths) from YouTube and Google.
Have you seen their mobile games and YouTube channels? With a few clicks on “Recommended channels”, kids might land on undesirable websites.
Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat and tomorrow’s apps are all harvesting our preferences and sometimes pushing undesirable ad (clickbaits) to kids.
Kids might form the wrong impression.
Example pornography demean female body as sexual objects.
.. and children (both boys and girls) are not safe from pedophiles.
It is not enough for kids to know more about their body and puberty, they need to protect themselves too.
MOE (Ministry of Education) call it Sexuality Education now, it was still “Sex Education” during my time :p
I would prefer to teach Sex Education to my kids in phases, look out for those teachable moments.
-When kids talk about kissing scenes
-When kids share Whatsapp photos of indiscreet photos, or those pranks
-When they caught hold of porn or suggestive advertisements on YouTube
-When 晚报 display a sensational Subject article
-When TV programme subtitles add a new word to their vocabulary (eg bitch)
Movies with so many F words (F uck). I cannot censor this word because it is so commonly mouthed by kids nowadays.
People will just add F to their sentence for emphasis. Not cool, but kids will think otherwise.
I do admit my training method is not really structured. But I am able to recycle my “training agenda” among the kids. As I teach more, the topic become more natural, and less awkward.
Some of the topics which I have covered for my kids at different stages :
Body parts and change
Sexual reproduction organs
Penis ( instead of koo koo bird)
Vagina (use the correct terms for genitals)
Behaviour and social norms (eg cannot anyhow touch others, no exposing of private parts in public area #WeAreAsians)
How to control emotions, and mood swings.
Anxiety about puberty might cause them to behave differently.
Expression of love
BGR Boyfriend girlfriend relationships
Alternate lifestyle (gays and lesbians)
Sperm and egg
Where do babies come from?
Daddy and Mummy intimacy is one way to keep our love and family strong.
Our parenting style is to keep the door open, kids always know they can come back to ask parents about anything. Daddy will be frank and open with any topic.
Kids today are no longer as innocent as they look, they understand most of the Sexuality Education topics which I was covering. But they are not mature enough to comprehend consequences.
a) When should I start Sexuality Education orientation?
Before kids show signs of puberty. It can be around the age of P4 or even P3 .
b) External materials.
I do recycle some of the materials from Secondary School’s Sexuality Education. You may find more materials from MOE website
c) From my own experience, it will be awkward for both parent and child. Kids would be restless before we finish the session. It does gets better and less awkward with more practice.
d) Loving and Respecting our spouse
This is the best way to impart correct sexual attitude to our kid
(hope I did not phase it wrongly)
e) Keep the Conversation ongoing and engage the kids.
Sexuality Education topics are necessary and definitely not Taboo.
f) We do Sexual Orientation one child at a time, not in group
This allows us to understand our child’s individual concerns and needs
g) Instead of hourly session, break session into 20 30 minutes
Sexuality Education is not one time. Sessions are added progressively as the child matures.
h) No1 rule for parents – Do not be judgmental
This will surely turn the kids away.
I guess parents will never know how much does our child understand, or absorb. My kids are unlikely to score me on my effectiveness and I cannot ask them to fill in survey form (haha ).
Do you have more tips to share with us?
How do you make Sexuality Education session interesting and less tense?
Any parenting hacks to improve Sexuality Education effectiveness?
.. All images above credit MOE