The day my son, all of 12 years old learnt a ‘bad word’ in his new school I knew it was time he be made aware of the birds and the bees.
Have you seen your little girl (the term ‘little’ could imply as young as 7-9 or as old as a teenager) behaving differently when she is in the presence of young men?
Have you happened to watch your son (and this has happened too many times to consider it a mere co-incidence) abruptly change channels just when you walk into the room?
Well! You now know what you have in your hands. Either your darlings are already sexually aware or else, it is high time you made them aware!
Easily said than done. Not a convenient topic to discuss with kids. What if their innocently vulnerable minds go haywire, you wonder. Don’t even bother about such unwarranted doubts. With the amount of advertisements, movies and item songs hosting their presence everywhere, there is no way your son or daughter is going to stay ‘innocently vulnerable’ for long.
Media now-a-days comes heavily armed with scantily clad values and men/women leaving no chance at all for innocent minds to ward off the attack. And these attacks come early in life. So, when something is not being discussed and appears secretively thrilling and mysterious attracts minds more. Doesn’t it?
So, how did I go about initiating this ‘the birds and the bees’ topic at home? Well! Firstly, I asked my young gentleman the meaning of the bad word he had just come to know about. As I had rightly guessed, he had no idea. So, I took up the painful task of explaining the meaning. His reaction? Shock! He was scandalised so to say. Now, it was his turn to question me.
“Why do people say such bad things? Maybe, they too don’t know the meaning?” he justified.
“Yes and No” I replied.
Some children don’t know the meaning but realise the demoralising power that the abusive word has over the opponent. Some know the meaning and say it all the same stupidly thinking that it is something to show off about, not realising that if the same thing would have been told to them it would have humiliated their families too.
This explained so, husband and I got down to the real business. We realised that a child of today cannot be buttered up with stories about cranes dropping babies or kind doctors donating infants to parents. Mamma’s bloated tummy and innumerable delivery scenes enacted in movies – all have paved the way to the portrayal of a realistic description of how babies are actually delivered. So, we couldn’t possibly lie about that.
Eventually, it all came back to how babies were conceived. After all, parents would want their daughters to be safe and aware of the three-letter word while parents of sons would want their boys to be responsible and restrict their hormonal urges to procreate prematurely! But then, which ever manner we explained, the matter was going to come back to us!! We were also worried because we did not want the child to get the wrong message.
Finally, the secret was revealed scientifically using the school Science Text Book (it gave the explanation a more scientific appeal than the blatantly sexual charm)! And our work was done.
Reaction: Our son was like, “Oh! Okay” and he carried on playing with his game on the iPod. We were like heaving sighs of relief. But, we do realise as parents that as the years pass by we cannot apply the “all is well that ends well” tag to the issue as yet. We are aware that many more discussions, suggestions and advises will follow regarding the need to express oneself sexually.
For now, the discussion on the birds and the bees has been temporarily transported to the store-room of our minds. How well, has our son learnt about this, that we will have to wait and watch. Our main intention was that he gets the right information directly from us, his parents who were responsible for his birth.
Would love to know what you think and feel about this issue…
Shail Raghuvanshi is a freelance journalist, content writer, editor, book reviewer and poet. She has 15 years of writing experience in newspaper, magazine, radio and television. She has worked as a Spoken English Teacher too. She runs a blog for writers called Write Space and blogs at her personal blog Muse N’ Motivation. A daughter, wife, mother and friend, she believes that there is no situation that can’t be made better. Faith, Friendship and Family are what makes her life complete.