By Sami Yacoub
Last week a friend wrote to us saying, “Sexual education for children is something of Western orientation that does not agree with our culture in the Middle East.”
We failed to stress this fact when we first began this series: although every piece of information and every instructive concept we introduce here is derived from a reliable scientific and educational sources to which any reader can return, what we offer is also drawn from local life experiences that have struggled between the traditional deplorable discussion of such matters with children and the more recent inflow of information about sex to which no parent can realistically prevent their kids from being exposed. Therefore, let us confidently approach the topic simultaneously keeping the moral and familial values that Focus on the Family promotes clearly in sight to build a better nation and a better future.
Discussing sex with our children is one of the foremost ways we can help them develop balanced characters. At this point, we have to note that when I refer to “sex” I do not merely mean that kids should be aware of the physical differences between man and woman or of the intimate relationships formed between the two. Sex is a basic part of human nature, and it has much deeper meanings than those. Sexual education is something our children can closely relate to their identity as male or female thus leading them to many life choices that could directly affect their futures.
Planned or unplanned conversation with kids about sex allows parents to pass on correct and precise information about it. What children learn outside of the home can either be disingenuous or simply not reflexive of their parents’ beliefs. When we begin at an early stage in their lives and continue to gradually provide additional knowledge – basing the amount and type of information on their age – we allow them to decipher truths from everything else poured into their minds by the media. This also allows them to resist peer pressure in this aspect.
Your children need your support as they enter the battle of life and growth. Do not avoid or put off talking to them about things that inhabit their thinking; do not be hesitant or embarrassed to ask and find out what that is so that you can initiate conversation with them that prepares them for a better future.
To Be Continued…
Copyright © 2012 Focus on the Family Middle East. All rights reserved. Originally published in Watani Paper 27.6.2010.