Things we should say to our children
We are not born as parents, but we try anyway to become one even if at school “parenting” is not a subject of study.
Parenting is not an easy task, for many.
Apart from the usual problems that all children give, what many find difficult and embarrassing are some questions that children often submit them. About, there are different philosophies, with those who believe it is better to evade the questions, partly because unprepared to provide the right answer, and those who, a few actually, believe it is opportune to discuss everything.
One thing is certain, the children are not as unprepared or unready to assimilate certain subjects. On the contrary, for some topic it is best to deal in advance and be clear with them.
In all honesty, when my offspring were children, I do not recall having received embarrassing questions but, if they did I think I would have tried to answer using words appropriate to their age and knowledge.
Depending on the age of the child, it could happen that he/she tries to find elsewhere the answers to the questions that parents were unwilling or unable to respond. Still, it’s likely that children no longer will ask for those questions, even if they have not found answers.
Our children are more mature than we suppose, and why take the risk that they acquire erroneous concepts by third parties, or that they remain unprepared on topics that, who knows why, many still find inopportune and embarrassing. War, violence, religions, quarrels, sex, relationship, illnesses, addictions and discrimination are part, as always, of our lives, for better or for worse, so why should we refrain from talking about these important issues?
If children does not grasp some concept, parents can say that they will understand more over time, but at least we tried to explain things and they will have had an inkling of what it is. Better a poor explanation than silence or embarrassment that, on the contrary, will turn on the child’s imagination and curiosity. This because, as said, many parents underestimate the insight and sensitivity of their children!
It may be that my children have not put any question about sex when still babies because I bought the “Encyclopédie de la vie sexuelle” by Cohen and Nathan Kahn, divided into 5 tomes, each targeted to an age group and starting from 7 years. The first two books, designed for children aged from 7 to 9 and from 10 to 13, speak of a family with a son and a daughter. The first volume, as a little story, is about two people who meet, get engaged, married and then having two children. Through simple drawings the human body is shown, its physiology, its development, the sexual act till conception. The second volume, although similar to the first as a structure, is more exhaustive and instead of drawings shows real images of the family. Each topic is covered in the different tomes and by numerous images nothing is seen as inconvenient or embarrassing. Just everything kids need to know about sex. I do not know if my children have read these books, but if they did it, they had the first right approach to sexuality.These books or similar ones can help some parents to give the answers that surely their kids will ask them, such as the classic and evergreen question:
“How babies are made?” – or, “What sex is?” – and unless you are addressing a very young child, please do not say that he/she “is brought by the stork” or “was born under cabbages” in the garden!!
If they ask you what the “willies” or the “pussy” is, with confidence you can say that it is our sexual organ by which in addition to pee, when they grow up and get married, will allow them to have children. Of course, much depends on the age of the child and in case of a teen or pre-teen asking for these questions, the answers should be more detailed and in-depth. In fact, at that age the sexual development has begun and there also are other important issues such as lust, masturbation, erection, ejaculation, menstruation, conception, STDs or condom which should be treated, even if in a simple and concise way. There are many men who when teenagers have discovered by themselves – not without trauma – what the erection meant, while the ejaculation led them believe to be sick even!
Unless you’re a puritan with narrowness of mind, make your children understand that sex, regardless of gender, is a natural thing…. already there are too many bullies and homophobes around, please try not to train another one!
Here are some images captured by these books.