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Sexology in Midwifery. Parents want their children to grow up to be healthy, happy and financially secure adults. Sexually healthy adults begin as children who are raised in sexually healthy families. In such a family, parents understand that teaching their children about sexuality is just as important as teaching them about safety, human values and healthy decision-making.
Each member of a sexually healthy family is treated with dignity and respect, and family members can discuss sexual issues in a comfortable and frank manner [ 1 ]. Sexuality is not the same as sex. Sexuality includes everything that defines us as girls and boys, men and women. Teaching children about sexuality requires more than simply explaining anatomy and reproduction - it means talking to them about relationships, families, parenthood and good decision-making. Sexuality encompasses our physical development, sexual knowledge, attitudes, values and behaviours - it is shaped not solely by our biology and psychology, but also by our culture, family history, education and experiences [ 2 ].
On the basis of these recommendations, the following chapter presents the argument that raising children for a healthy sexual relationship in adulthood is one of the most important responsibilities of parents and one which has to start when our child is a newborn. As a parent, our responsibility for raising a sexually healthy child starts when our child is a newborn. How we touch, talk and play with our infant teaches him or her about gender roles and how to express emotion and affection [ 3 ]. Talking about sex and sexuality is key to raising sexually healthy children.
It gives us an opportunity to send the right message and share our values and beliefs. Many characteristics of sexually healthy families are not explicitly about sex or sexuality, but are about how each member of the family interacts with each other. Sexually healthy parents demonstrate that they value, respect, accept and trust their children — and that they expect to be treated that way in return. They listen to their children and seriously try to understand their points of view.
It is important that parents let their children know that they can depend on them for honest, reliable answers. It is not always easy for parents to talk with their children about sexuality. We have to find out what our child Adult want sex Guild knows and after that correct the child regarding misinformation and give the true facts.
As parents we have to use the conversation as an opportunity to convey our values Our values are personal beliefs that affect how we think, feel and act. Values can change over time with new knowledge and life experiences. Some values that we want to teach our children may come easily to us because we feel strongly about them while others may need more thought [ 4 ]. Like all forms of human development, sexual development begins at birth.
Sexual development includes not only the physical changes that occur as children grow, but also the sexual knowledge and beliefs they come to learn and the behaviours they show. As Adult want sex Guild we have to know that sexuality includes many components which are equally important. They are: anatomy and reproductive health biological sex, pregnancy, childbirth, hygiene, general health care, etc. Wanting to be naked even if others are not and showing or touching private parts while in public are also common in young children. They are curious about their own bodies and may quickly discover that touching certain body parts feels nice for more on what children typically do at this and other ages, see Table 1.
Common sexual behaviours in childhood [ 6 ]. As children grow older and interact more with other children approximately ages four—sixthey become more aware of the differences between boys and girls, and more social in their exploration. They may also ask more questions about sexual matters, such as where babies come from, and why boys and girls are physically different.
Once children enter grade school approximately ages seven—12their awareness of social rules increases and they become more modest and want more privacy, particularly around adults. Although touching oneself masturbation and sexual play continue, children at this age are likely to hide these activities from adults. Curiosity about adult sexual behaviour increases particularly as puberty approaches and children may begin to seek out sexual content on television, in films, and in printed material. Children approaching puberty are likely to start displaying romantic and sexual interest in their peers [ 6 ].
Parents who are warm and communicative with their children, starting at an early age, while still maintaining control in the form of limits, raise children who are more self-respecting, who are more socially competent, and who deal more effectively with problems. Children gradually develop the cognitive and emotional capacities that form the basis of knowing and feeling what is right and what is wrong and then acting in accordance with that knowledge. They need caring adults to help them. Feeling for the emotions of others is key to developing a sense of right and wrong; it emerges at an early age and needs to be nurtured in a caring environment [ 16 ].
The ways in which parents relate to their children falls into certain patterns, and finding the right balance is the key to helping children attain an internal sense of conscience and values for a healthy sexual relationship in adulthood. Research has identified basic parenting styles:. When parents balance affection, warmth and respect with a firm level of control in the form of limit-setting, children are more likely to be self-respectful, to deal with problems, and to establish a sense of values, e.
This parenting style is known as authoritative. When parents are overly indulgent children often struggle to learn the limits of what is acceptable and to develop their inner controls, e. When parents are too controlling and autocratic, e. This parenting style is known as authoritarian. Below are some parenting suggestions that may prove helpful in finding the authoritative parent [ 1416 ]:.
Be aware of your own needs and the ways in which your role as a parent is coloured by your relationship with your own parents. Participate in positive activities such as community service, sports, music, all of which imbue children with a sense of purpose. Parents model sexually healthy attitudes in their own relationships, and they are appropriately affectionate in front of their children [ 3 ].
We can help children grow to be sexually healthy adults by [ 146 - 10 ]:. Using the correct words for body parts and functions to help children respect and take care of their bodies. Using positive touch to give your children feelings of closeness, comfort, security and safety. For example, hold hands and give lots of cuddles and hugs. Sharing your values with your children. Knowing your values and explaining why they are important to you will help your children develop their own.
Teaching your children to think about what they say and do, and how their comments and actions Adult want sex Guild others feel. Use assertive communication to express feelings, resist pressure and protect themselves. Talking to your children about sexual abuse: what it is and how they can protect themselves. Giving your children equal opportunities and respect.
Treating girls and boys differently can affect how capable they feel. Introducing the topic. Many parents put off talking to their children about sexuality, assuming that will ask when he wants to know something. Listening to your child, be honest and talk about both your own and your child's feelings. Looking for teaching opportunities. Teaching opportunities arise naturally and provide a good avenue by which to talk about some aspects of sexuality or other important topics. Encouraging the child's critical thinking and reflection about gender identities and gender-role stereotyping.
Since the media plays a major role in the sexual education of individuals, effective sexual health education provides training in critical media literacy to help individuals identify and deconstruct hidden and overt sexual messages and stereotypes. Importantly, comprehensive sexual health education helps individuals to understand how these messages may affect their sexual health. It is never too early to help your children feel good about their individuality, their body image and their sexuality.
Conveying these messages from the beginning will set them on the right track. Help them tell the difference between fact and fiction. Help them understand what is happening to their bodies. Talk to them about their feelings and their relationships. Share with children your opinions and what you believe in. This four-point plan - a caring parent's guide - can help us respond to the questions Adult want sex Guild child might have about sexuality. The four-point plan — a caring parent's guide [ 11 ].
The majority of families have both parents working outside the home; children are increasingly involved in extracurricular activities and spend more time out of adult supervision than ever before. Because of this, child-rearing experts state that we must do more to teach our children early in their lives about how to make good decisions and how to take appropriate actions.
This teaching must cover all issues relevant to their lives, including difficult subjects such as sexuality and ways to relate positively to peers [ 12 ]. Approaches and methods effectively integrate the four key elements of sexual health education: 1 knowledge acquisition and understanding, 2 motivation and personal insight, 3 skills that support sexual health and 4 environments conducive to sexual health.
Various sources of formal and informal sexual health education are created for diverse learning styles and are age-appropriate [ 812 ]. Parents have an obligation to create an open environment in which to start the conversation. Here are six steps to encourage your children to talk about difficult issues [ 4612 ]:.
Foster an open environment: be available to listen to your children. This means letting them ask you anything or sound out any idea. Give them plenty of opportunities to start a discussion - tell them that you are always there for their questions or concerns. Keep the lines of communication with your children open through small talk - often big ideas begin as Adult want sex Guild thoughts which are slipped into the middle of a conversation about something else.
Finally, ask questions. One tip: use current events or situations on a favourite TV programme as an opener for a chat with your children and ask them for their opinions. Give your undivided attention: when the opportunity for dialogue presents itself, focus your attention on the conversation and your. Turn off the television, let the answering machine pick up the ringing phone and sit down one-on-one with your. If it is really a bad time to talk, schedule it for another time, but first make sure that waiting is okay with your child; and be sure to keep that appointment - there is nothing more disappointing to child than a forgotten meeting to discuss something of importance to them.
For important topics, start the talk: if you think it is difficult for an adult to raise certain topics, imagine how hard it must be for. Believe it or not, our children want us to talk with them, so look for moments during the day that seem ripe for conversation. Our conversations with our children should include:. With this information, our children are better prepared to resist peer pressure and other influences and to make healthy decisions. Assess your own values before you talk to your children and think about the things that you value in your relationships. Give your children clear examples of what are appropriate manners.
Talk to them about the standards of conduct that you expect in the way they talk and present themselves to others. No one likes to be lectured, so try having many brief, yet insightful, conversations instead. Plus, frequent chats are a great way of communicating, reinforcing your values and letting your children know that you are interested in their lives.
The outcome of growing and learning through open communication is the development of strong, emotionally complete men and women who are interested in and capable of having healthy relationships. Understand the questions and answer honestly: if you are not sure what your child is asking, say so.
Once you understand the question, give an answer that you know is correct and honest. Teach your child problem solving and explain the »danger zone« to them. All too often, Adult want sex Guild get the majority of their sexual education from other children and from media sources such as television shows, songs, movies, and video games. Not only is this information often wrong, it may have very little to do with the sexual values that parents want to convey. Controlling media exposure and providing appropriate alternatives is an important part of teaching children about sexual issues.
Get to know the rating systems of games, movies and television shows, and make use of the parental controls available through many Internet, cable, and satellite providers. It is very important for you to be aware of what your children are watching on television and online, and make time to watch television with them.
When appropriate, you can use this time as a springboard to talk about sexual or relationship issues, and to help children develop the skills to make healthy decisions about their behaviour and relationships.Adult want sex Guild
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Healthy Sex: The Ultimate Guide