An old post, I wrote a few years ago, yet relevant today.
In the eighties and nineties, like many other girls my age, one fine day I started leaking. Unprepared and unaware. Like many of my friends I was given a something, in hush-hush tones to catch the leak. There were whispers around the corridor to aunts and neighbors. A few months and I whispered to a friend at school. She whispered back to me. These whispers continued in close quarters. Come ninth grade, and the God-given biology textbook enlightened many of us. The specific chapter on ‘Reproductive System’ with the diagrams and parts labeled. Many of us read that chapter and knew it verbatim, much earlier than it was taught in class. I studied in a girls school, so I have no idea what happened at the boys school. Although, now, I can simply guess.
Fast forward close to two and a half decades and I am sitting with my sons, explaining that particular chapter in my Biology textbook. The class went easier than I thought, ending with a Q&A. I know my friends are doing the same and can’t agree more with them about the importance of having this conversation with our children.
Back then, we didn’t have the internet to bombard us with information or nonsense. Today a five /six year old knows how to use Google. Its very easy to be misinformed and thus misled. The children know some, assume some, ignore some. To add to this, they have friends who also know some, assume some, ignore some. This concoction has the potential for a disaster.
I explained the male and female systems of reproduction. My intention was to build an understanding of what their female friends, women around them experience, so they know, it’s all natural. We were all made this way. Deep down for me, it was the foundation for them to respect women. Understanding and behaving in a manner where they know that women are equal and should be respected as a human is a virtue I cannot miss installing, in them.
Talking about physical aspects of men and women or sex education between parents and children, I believe opens that door of communication for children. They don’t have to dig into dark holes, instead can have a conversation with either parent.
I am glad, this is not a taboo anymore. If you have not had this conversation with your tween or teen, I would encourage you to do so. Because, it is important and education starts at home.