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Perhaps you have had more than one debate with your partner, family or friends about how to mention the genitalia in front of the children: "Do we call it dick or penis ?; Vulva sounds so bad ... let's say chichi ... but it doesn't convince me because it's not enough fine".
You may have found yourself explaining reproduction using "dad puts the seed in mom." Maybe one day you answered "You'll see him at school when he plays, because you're still little." Or you've caught yourself playing Swedish when faced with an uncomfortable question.
Although sexuality is present throughout life and it is inevitable to talk about it, it is not uncommon that these or other questions have arisen when educating your child, since it is a dimension full of taboos, false beliefs, concealments and prejudices. We present you some ideas on what terms to use when talking about sexuality with children and we hope they help you to enjoy accompanying him in this discovery.
The human sexual act is composed of three elements:
- Sex, which refers to what one is (the sexed body, which is constantly changing).
- The sexuality, is what is lived (the experiences and the way of feeling sex).
- The erotic, what is done (desires and behaviors).
The main objective of sex education will be to provide your child with the ability to live with congruence what he is (his sex), what he lives and feels (his sexuality) and what he wants and does (his eroticism) so that he can live sexually in a unique, free, positive, autonomous and responsible way.
Your child develops his sexual act when he explores, feels pleasure when he is tickled, when he sees naked bodies, listens to elderly conversations, observes people who feel modesty, while playing with friends, decides who he gives kisses, discovers that people express affections in different ways, we explain that it is important to take care of your body, fall in love or see pictures.
Sex education is present at all times, it is not only talking about the body and genitals, also it has to do with self-knowledge, self-esteem, emotions, gender, affections or relationships.
It may be that you think that if you talk about sexuality with your child, you encourage him to carry out early practices. It's as if you think that starting to speak English at 1 year will prompt him to go live abroad before he's ready. Rather the opposite, you do it to ensure that, when the time comes, you can live the experience in a more positive, safe and responsible way.
Why not do the same with sexuality? Sexuality is like any other learning, a gradual and continuous process. The experiences and questions that your child asks you at the age of 2 (touching the genitals when removing the diaper) or at the age of 5 (how are children made?) Will not be the same as at the age of 13 (is it normal to feel tickling in the vulva?). Having information does not promote premature actions, quite the contrary. Reality shows that, the better the education, the later the internship usually begins as a couple. It seems that proper education does facilitate maintaining motivation to know and respect each other, and to know and respect others, and, therefore, to decide responsibly with who, what, where, when and how to start internships as a couple.
The way in which you respond to your child can be key when it comes to keeping communication open or close.. Your child asks you why he is researching and building his mental model and you are one of his main sources of trust. If he detects that his questions or behaviors make you uncomfortable, avoid or scold him, he may close off communication with you. He will look for other sources of information that will not always be the most appropriate (for example, friends or the Internet) and you will be missing the opportunity to accompany him in his sexual development.
Talking about sexuality with your children is like talking about any other topic, you adapt it to the characteristics, experiences and age of your child, but also to yours. Try to take advantage of every day-to-day opportunity to provide answers, as it will help keep communication open.
When your son learned to read, you explained that A is A and M is M to make it easier for him to learn to read, but, when talking about sex, it is common to use euphemisms as a strategy to reduce adult modesty. Calling the vulva, chichi or penis, whistle eliminates the possible erotic connotations that we adults use, but one term sounds the same to your child.
However, it does capture that, while you call the sum sum and the plant, plant, there are certain things that do not have their own names, have infinite names or are not even mentioned and, furthermore, make the adult nervous, blush or dislocate . This situation can lead to confusion, ignorance, distance, disconnection or establishment of own conclusions (it must be something bad, dirty or hidden, that associates it with negative emotions such as fear, rejection or shame). Sharing a respectful, common, clear, non-judgmental and open code will help you establish a positive relationship with your body, emotions, affections and relationships.
Do you think that the terms used in sexology sound bad, strong, cold or too technical? Surely you have stopped to analyze how vulva sounds, but not how eruption, syntax or multiplication does it. Think if it is not due to lack of habit or because of the social influence loaded with negative connotations towards those words. Try to start using the appropriate sexual terms: vulva, penis, testicles, sperm, ovum, menstruation, intercourse, reproduction ... In a week you will have gotten used to it. If you still have a hard time, try combining technical words with more informal ones so that your child learns which words to use depending on the context. Explain, for example, that he can use chichi or whistle in private but that, at the doctor, it should be said vulva or penis.
If you want your child to learn to respect himself and others, be prepared to prevent abuse, make responsible decisions, be able to communicate openly about his needs, desires, interests, ... In short, if you want to educate a person who lives his sexuality in a unique, free, positive and responsible way, learning to call things by their name is a good start.
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