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Heart To Heart

Monday, May 07, 2018

Teaching “Birds & Bees”
We are convinced that children need to be educated properly about matters related to sex. When should parents sit down with their children for the “birds and bees” education?

Learning about sex should not occur in one “all or nothing” session with children. It ideally should be more of an unfolding and ongoing process, one in which the child learns over time, what is necessary for him/her to know. Questions should preferably be answered as and when they arise so that the child's natural curiosity is satisfied as he/she grows and matures. As they grow, parents can give them all useful information to help them make healthy and responsible decisions related to their sexuality. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to have a major conversation with your child each time he/she asks a question about sexuality. They may just want the answer to one question for the time being, and that is perfectly fine. Always be sure that you are answering the specific question, rather than talking in general terms.

If at all your child does not ask any questions about sex, do not just ignore the subject. At around age five, you can actively begin to introduce books that deal with sexuality on a developmentally appropriate level. Parents often have difficulty finding the right words/vocabulary, but there are a number of good books to help.

Adjusting to new family
I am a working woman and have been brought up to be independent. I got married few months ago and am finding it difficult to adjust to my new family. They are a little too orthodox for my tastes and expect me to be the same. They don’t like that I attend office parties or wear jeans and western clothes to work, even though the clothes are not indecent. They don’t even like that I don’t give them my salary and that I apply lipstick. I have talked about this to my husband, but he pushes me to compromise because he doesn’t want any frictions at home.

A lot would depend on the kind of honest communication that you have had with your husband before marriage, regarding values and lifestyles. If he was aware of your career lifestyle, your grooming, and your keeping an independent savings account, and had agreed to all of it, then simply reminding him of the same would suffice. However, if unfortunately all this was not discussed, then it is time to sit down and amicably discuss how both of you independently feel about all the above, and co-create a new set of values and lifestyle choices which is comfortable for both. Co-creating a life together does not always mean giving up independence. See it as ‘building up’ a relationship rather than ‘giving up’ something. There could be some flexible areas in the issues mentioned above for both of you, and a keen desire to co-create a mutually nurturing, meaningful and fulfilling relationship, would help you find a win-win scenario in all issues. Once both of you are united and on the same co-created team, communication of your joint decisions to his family would become simpler.

Sex after Hernia Surgery
After my Hernia operation four months ago, I have lost my interest in sex. My age is 33. Does physical illness affect sex life of a person?

When a person is physically ill, he usually lose interest in sex and some ability to perform intercourse. Over and above the damage to our bodies due to illness, we feel apprehensive, anxious and even depressed about the lack of control over our bodies. Besides we also suffer the loss of the benefits of sexual intimacy. This can induce a ‘sense of isolation’ in the ill person.

Even after recovery from the illness, many men are often unwilling to resume their sexual life. "It's too strenuous, too risky," they think. "I might hurt myself”. The wife is mostly aware of her husband’s apprehensions and feelings and shares his concerns, which may lead to a decision to refrain from sex or then to have less sex. Majority number of the times the fear is baseless, leading to performance anxiety and thus psychogenic impotence.

The benefits of a healthy sexual relationship can even accelerate and complement recovery from many physical illnesses. The body is revitalized by sexual activity. Endorphins and Oxytocin that are secreted in the body in larger proportion due to sexual intimacy contribute positively to overall well-being.

After recovery from a surgery or a physical illness, when the treating doctor grants the go-ahead, the couple must consider recommencing their sex life as earlier.

First major challenge together
I am 25. I proposed to a girl (age 23) who is also interested in marrying me. In fact loves me too! She fears her dad may not allow her to marry me as he is "unpredictable". She herself was not able to understand him! So what can we do to go ahead and marry?

We presume that both of you have completed your academic education, well established in your respective careers and are able to financially support yourselves. Marriage is a serious commitment and both the partners must be ‘willing and able’ to shoulder all the responsibilities that come along with it. Therefore if both of you are ‘willing and able’ to take on the responsibility of marriage, then no one should or can come in the way. Of course, it is always better to have the blessings of the family. In this context you could arrange a meeting with her father to seek his blessings after she breaks the news to him. If he gives his consent happily it is good, if not, then both of you must emotionally prepare yourself to face your first major challenge together. Life is full of ups and downs and both of you need to be emotionally equipped to meet all that life doles out to you. Whether both of you can weather storms together successfully will determine the success of your marriage.

Heart To Heart Counselling Centre runs Certificate courses in Counselling & Sex Education at 10 Jerbai Baug, Byculla (E), Mumbai-27.
Tel: 23755866 / 9821093902.

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