Teaching Sex Education to Children
As your child reaches 4 years of age, he starts developing a healthy curiosity about sex and other people’s bodies. They start asking various questions, such as “How come I don’t have a penis?” and you should give them honest, brief answers. If your child doesn’t ask sexual questions by 5 years of age, it is your responsibility to bring up the topic. If you don’t help your child with sex education, he may acquire a lot of misinformation from his friends and schoolmates. If you are among the many parents who are uncomfortable talking to their children about sex, get a book and read to them.
Teach your child the differences in anatomy between the sexes
While your child is bathing with siblings or swimming with friends of the opposite sex. Another opportunity is while changing diapers or clothing. Be sure to include the genitals when you teach your child the names of body parts. Use proper names (vagina and penis), not nicknames or baby talk. If you postpone teaching proper names, your child will become embarrassed to use them as he grows older.
Teach about pregnancy and where babies come from
While you are pregnant, be sure to keep your child informed about the baby’s development. Otherwise, you can ask a pregnant friend to let your child feel her baby moving about. Explain the birth process in simple terms.
Talk about how the bodies of girls and boys differ
That will take away some of the air of secrecy. With the help of other parents you can read sex education books to the group. Tell your child that genitals are private. That’s why we wear clothes. Clarify to them that it is NOT OK to touch other people’s genitals. Also, it's not acceptable to deliberately show someone else your genitals or ask to see theirs.
You are advised to subtly supervise your child’s play a little more closely. Up to a point, sexual play in preschoolers is very common and beneficial. But if you notice that the behavior is becoming more frequent, don’t hesitate to discourage it. Tell the children that it is not polite and has to stop. Try to divert their attention by suggesting a different game. If that doesn’t get your message across, give them a five–minute time–out in separate rooms, or send them home for the day. It’s up to the parents to put the brakes on undressing games. But keep your response low–key. Don’t act shocked or angry. Don’t make your child feel guilty and don’t give any major punishments.
Show your child how to be affectionate
It is very important to teach your child to accept and enjoy physical affection (in the form of cuddles, hugs and kisses) from relatives and friends. Lots of children feel shy and awkward to accept such affection if the environment in the home is not warm and friendly. When parents exchange warm hugs and kisses in front of the children, they will understand that it is normal to do so. Give your child ample cuddling each day. Demonstrating a healthy attitude toward physical affection and appropriate ways of touching can help your child in developing the right attitude towards display of affection.
Teach your child respect to privacy
Teach your children to respect privacy as soon as they are 4 or 5 years of age. Close the bathroom or the bedroom door when you get undressed, and teach your children to do the same. Teaching about such things however depends on the attitudes withheld by the family.
Be open to sex related questions
Be an open, responsive parent. When your child is old enough, explain about sex to him. You can use books explain about topics you find difficult to explain. Convey to your children that sex is an important part of love and life. If your child learns it's OK to talk about sex, he will not feel awkward to ask more questions as he grows older.
Soft Bedding May be Hazardous to Babies
Safe Bedding Practices For Infants:
- Place baby on his/her back on a firm tight–fitting mattress in a crib.
- Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys, and other soft products from the crib.
- Consider using a quilt or other sleep clothing as an alternative to blankets.
- If using a blanket, see that the baby’s feet lie at the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby’s chest.
- Make sure your baby’s head remains uncovered during sleep.
- Do not place the baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, pillow, or other soft surfaces to sleep.