Discussions and debates have been ongoing for quite some time regarding sex education. One of the objectives has been to establish the most appropriate and practical approach to handling sex education.
The findings of a research study sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation suggest a mix of the parents and school involvement. The researchers also found out that problems can arise when the primary sources of information about sexuality are friends and the media. The adolescent health researcher, Yara Barrense-Dias, made a notable discovery. After interacting with 5000 research respondents, she concluded that sex education in school offers a positive impact on both sexual behavior and health.
In this post, we determine the distinct roles that parents and teachers should play in sex education.
The role of parents in sex education
Sadly, a lot of parents are not involved as they should in teaching their children sex education. Most of them share a belief that the school is responsible for introducing these lessons to the children. Understandably so, seeing that such moments might be uncomfortable for the parents and their children. The main reason many parents find it challenging to approach the subject with their kids is that their parents struggled with the same. However, you, as a modern parent, can decide to take a different path for the overall well being of your children.
Some parents think that when they have these conversations with their children, they will interact with sexual experiences before they are ready. Do not allow this fear to hold you back because it is quite the opposite. Children are likely to experiment with sex when they have little knowledge they get from their friends and media.
Practical and Easy Tips for Having Sex Conversations with Your Children
Now that we have established that parents have an essential role to play in this matter, how should they approach it?
- Avoid serious sit-down sexuality lectures. Instead, talk about sex and relationships with your children while doing cleaning, driving, or even shopping. This strategy helps to take away the eye-to-eye intensity associated with such situations.
- Pursue candid and open conversations. Do not leave any stone unturned. Of utmost importance is to gauge how deep you should go depending on the age and maturity of your child.
- Do not make the conversation a one-off thing. It should be something ongoing. When it is continuous, it allows you to walk with your child in their journey of significant emotional and physical changes.
- Approach the conversations in a way that your child will know that they can always come back to you with additional questions.
- Collaborate with the school to know the topics they have covered and the ones in the schedule. This way, you can prepare yourself ahead of time and determine the nature of sex talks you should have with your child.
- Read widely about the same. Make use of the Internet to understand areas you should be tackling and how to go about it.
What role does the school play?
Traditionally, the introduction of sex education to students and the follow-throughs belong to the teacher. The burden can be too significant for the teachers to bear, considering that they have other responsibilities. It is, therefore, a good thing that schools have transferred part of this responsibility to the parents.
What is the best approach for teachers?
The delivery of sex education to students by teachers isn’t as tricky as it is for parents – mainly due to the inclusion of sexuality in the curriculum. Teachers can take advantage of this situation to talk as much as possible about sex with their students. Just like the parents, the teachers should also approach the subject with utmost honesty and openness.
Ask relevant questions to find out how much information the students have regarding sex. Allow them to field as many questions as possible and then take time to address them adequately. It is also wise to request the participation of parents. Schools should consider inviting parents to video evenings to explain learning resources.
Irrespective of the competency of the school on sex education, it cannot deliver the incredible benefits linked to parental advice on the same issue. When parents and teachers play their distinct roles adequately, the children will have sufficient sex knowledge. As such, teamwork (between parents and teachers) should be encouraged to ensure optimal results.