To appropriately answer children and adolescents’ questions about sexuality, so that if their sexual instincts are not aroused, they do not reach premature puberty; and if they have already reached puberty, they will be kept away from sexual perversion and stimulation, there are some things to keep in mind.
Answers should be appropriate to the understanding of the person who asks the question
In education, there should be a balance between the person’s ability of understanding and the material s/he is going to learn. In answering the sexual questions, this fact is also important. Therefore, the answer to the question of a 3-year-old child is different from that of a 5-year-old child. The children have questions about sex and want to find the right answer. Due to the age of the children, the birth of their siblings, and the mothers’ visits to the hospital, and the curiosity of the children, their questions about sexual issues are different and varied. Some of their questions are: Where does the baby come from? How did God give us this baby? How did the baby come out of my mom’s stomach? Why is the baby different from me?
Some parents evade answering and hide the issue. They silence their children with sentences such as That’s none of your business; When you grow up, you will realize; I’ll tell you later. And some other parents give incorrect and untrue answers such as: “God sent this baby to us from heaven! or “We bought it from the hospital.” The child usually realizes that these answers are not the right answers to his or her questions and that his or her parents are deceiving him or her.
About these issues, Bertrand Russell said, “If a child has a sibling which can ask a reasonable question about, answer him according to his or her age. For example, tell him or her that the baby has grown up in the mother’s stomach and will continue to grow in the same way. Let them see that mother is breastfeeding the baby and tell them that the same thing has happened to them.”
So, to prevent children from sexual perversion, it is necessary to answer their sexual questions according to their understanding. Of course, considering the methods that will be mentioned, it will not be difficult to answer most of their questions.
Ebrahim Amini said, “Most children’s sexual questions are not so difficult to answer. Children may ask “Where does the baby come from” and/or “Where has s/he been so far?”. To this question, parents can answer that the baby has lived in the mother’s stomach for a while and then came out. S/he may ask where has the baby come out? Parents can answer that there is a tube under the mother’s stomach which baby can come out from. S/he may ask how a baby is made in the mother’s stomach? Parents can answer that the baby has been made in the mother’s stomach, gradually grows up to be a complete baby, then comes out from the mother’s stomach. To answer such questions, it is not advisable for parents to speak about sexual relations and things for which the child is not fully prepared to understand. Do not suppose the child wants to understand all the facts. S/he only wants to know as much as he asks; no more.”
The answer should not be disgusting
Parents’ answers to the child’s questions about sexuality should be in a way that does not make him or her averse or reluctant to ask such questions and to find the answer does not require them to ask unreliable people, read books, novels, and sex magazines.
In the face of the child’s sexual questions, parents must behave normally
When a child or adolescent asks about sexual issues, parents should not behave in a way that makes him or her think that something strange has happened. If the parents behave in this way, then they have indirectly forced the child to be sensitive to sexual issues. Answering questions plays the most important role when informing children about sexual issues. However, two basic rules must be considered: First, always answer each question correctly and accurately; and second, consider sexual information like any other information.
Russel says that when a child asks about the sun or the moon with interest, parents are happy and explain to him or her as much as s/he can understand and infer. But whenever s/he asks about sexual issues, parents will be tempted to say in response: be quiet.
The child will notice minor differences. In this way, you have given him or her the ground for lustful thoughts. Therefore, the answer you give to a children’s sexual questions should be as complete and natural as you answer other questions.
Parents need to keep in mind that considering sexual questions as abnormal and giving untrue, incorrect, irrational answers and answers which are inappropriate with the child’s age, not only does not solve the problem but also causes deviations.
Author: Moharram Atash Afrooz