4 November 2016

Uganda: Let's Teach Sex Education to Our Children At Home

opinion

In the recent past, sex education was like an abomination in our society.

However, children are learning more from the media than from the parents. Our children are exposed to too much information on the Internet and this has become yet another contributing challenge towards sex education. The child gets any information which she/he can't sieve. In the end, they try to explore whatever they see, read, watch and listen to.

However, some parents are still shy to talk about sex with their children regardless of age. When a child asks a question related to sex, the parent will probably answer: "You are still young. I will tell you when you are old enough to understand that stuff." The child goes away without knowing the truth.

And perhaps, the child might never ask any similar question. This automatically creates a communication gap between the two of you. When the child gets a problem, you start to blame him/her, and not yourself for failing to address his/her relating issues.

As parents, we need to teach our children about sex with age-appropriate information. If your child gets such information from home, he/she is much likely to know how to behave during adolescence. Chances are high your child will be resilient and easily make informed decisions.

I have had an opportunity to travel to different secondary schools across the country, promoting abstinence. Students have similar questions but one that shocked me is: "Is it true that when you wash your vagina with Mirinda Fruity or Coca-Cola after sex, you don't get pregnant?"

Dear parents, please don't shy away from telling your children the truth about sex. They already have some information which most of the time is wrong. If they asked you a question and you also gave a wrong answer, they would keep with that. You don't want to get embarrassed by your own child at some point in life.

Parents who let children watch a lot of animated movies (cartoons), you need to first find out what content your children are consuming through that programme. Not all cartoons are good for your child.

Some of the nightmares children get are as a result of such movies and related information from other media. Don't let your child learn or get first information from somewhere else. We should be their source of first and right information.

"Discussing sex is also part of starting open communication with your child. Early, honest, and open communication between parents and children is very important, especially when your child becomes an adolescent. If open communication is normal, children are more likely to speak with parents about all the other trials of adolescence, such as depression, relationships, and the abuse of drugs and alcohol, as well as sexual issues," (www.aboutkidshealth.ca).

The earlier we teach sex education to our children right from home, the earlier we are mitigating moral decay in our homes and societies. Otherwise, our children are already exposed. All we need is to give them the right information.

Uganda

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