Teaching about ‘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.
l Heart To Heart Counselling Centre runs Certificate courses in Counselling & Sex Education at 10 Jerbai Baug, Byculla (E), Mumbai-27. Tel: 22184528 / 9821093902. Email: [email protected] www.hearttoheartindia.net