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Teaching Sex Education ~ Way to Go Mom 2020!

Teaching Sex Education














Young teens playing soccer
Activity keeps growing children from worrying about sex

I may be opening Pandora’s box by approaching the subject of sex education because it is so controversial but I have heard that controversy is a way to get noticed. Be direct and positive while teaching sex education.  The main guideline here is to give information that a child needs to know and wants to know.

What a Child Needs  to Know About Sex

Children happily play without clothes and bathe together until about seven to eight years old. Then, and sometimes quite suddenly, they develop modesty. If a young child does not have younger siblings to see body differences, he or she should see or associate with a cousin or friend’s baby just to know how the other sex looks. Very young children will often explore their own bodies. Do not shame them as it is natural. Distract them with other activities.

As a child embraces modesty, he or she will want to dress and bathe separately from other siblings or friends. Even parents can be shunned but they must still check to see if bathing and hygiene is being done properly.

Children need to know how their body parts work for toilet training. They do not need to know the biology of sexuality of making babies until close to 12 years old. This will depend on the child and his or her maturity. Girls often mature quicker than boys. They may start asking questions so give direct and brief answers. Set an time aside for a friendly positive conversation about the “Birds and the Bees” with some privacy and a good picture book on the subject. Maintain a honest open relationship with your child so talking about how to have a baby is not strained. Emphasize love in the picture. Guess what? The pleasure of sex and how that happens does not have to be discussed at the same time. Be open to questions and do not draw out the answers.

How Should We Treat Them

Do not be afraid to treat little girls like girls and little boys like boys. It is miraculously amazing how girls will be drawn to dolls and purses and dressing up while boys will be drawn to cars and super heroes and playing rough. If there is a cross over in personalities, that is okay too. Children play with what is around them. My little boy loved to play with dolls and a kitchen because he was playing with his big sister. When I got pregnant, he pretended he was too. I tried to explain to him that boys don’t get pregnant but I don’t know how much he understood at age three. He grew up quite straight.

What a Child Wants to Know About Sex

Young children like to explore their body parts when they a undressed or bathing. This is normal. If it is uncomfortable to you, distract them. They will outgrow this when they become modest.

As they grow older, they will ask questions about what something is called or how it works. Again, keep answers brief and direct. See if you can use correct names for body parts so the body won’t be degraded by funny names or made fun of.

I heard a story of a boy who asked,”Where did I come from.” His mother launched into an explanation of the birds and the bees. Finally the boy interrupted and said “Yes, but Sam is from New York. Where do I come from?” The moral is: Don’t jump to conclusions and don’t give more information than is needed. A good clue that you have said enough is when your child walks away or starts doing something else while you are expounding.

What About Sexual Activity

These is one area of controversy. Teens will naturally want to investigate and explore the opposite sex because it is enticing. Hormones will begin pulsing as a child reaches puberty. It can be embarrassing so some of this exploration is kept hidden. Magazines with pictures and conversations with friends will be used outside parents’ knowledge. There may be masturbation for boys or girls. Do not be alarmed if these activities are discovered. The best fix is not punishment, but distraction. Teenagers are busy with school,work, and many activities. Keep them occupied. Teens should be tired at night. There should be little or no time to masturbate or read pornography. Try to keep communication paths open so they can discuss questions with you. If you ridicule or shame, it will throw up barrier between you.

Are there things to worry about? Of course. Masturbation and especially pornography can become addicting and displace normal activities and relationships. That is why teens are warned against them. Sexual activity with others has many dangers including pregnancy, venereal disease, and harm to self and others emotionally. Even with birth control (which is rarely used correctly), intercourse in teen years can take a big chunk out of a youth’s psychological well being because he/ she doesn’t understand love completely yet. So, you , as a parent, have the difficult job of convincing your child of these dangers and encouraging him or her to wait at least until he/she is an adult and in a loving relationship if not married. Try to encourage friendly group activities with other teens. Delay individual dating as necking and petting lead to sexual activity. Religious influence can help.

LGBT

Lately, there has been a lot of talk from the LGBT community about rights. We are lead to believe that 20 to 25 percent of the population identifies differently than what they are born biologically. This is not true. In fact only 3.8 % of people say they are LGBT (that is lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender). This is up from less than one percent ten years ago. Some would argue that more people feel safe in expressing there true feelings. Others would argue that because of the push in education on these topics, more people want to be LGBT. It has become popular. I am not trying to influence your opinion. Children should not bully but they need not empathize too closely.

At one time, teens would fight against the notion of being gay. It is not an easy lifestyle. Now, with the push on acceptance, we have another side effect. Teens feel like they need to try it out. This is tough because teens are trying to find themselves anyhow. Teen sexual activity can be dangerous. Try to help your teen stay involved with school and school activities. Sports help use up excess energy. Give warnings but don’t condemn. Show love and acceptance. You can ask probing questions like, ” Are you sure this is right for you?” Don’t try to sway your teen as it sometimes pushes them the other direction. Stay close through fun family activities and time to talk so communication can stay open.

Above all, don’t pushing a child toward a gay or transgender lifestyle by categorizing remarks and thoughts. Examples: “She dresses like a boy. She must be lesbian.” “He plays with girl toys. He must be gay.” “He acts so feminine. He must be gay.” Let a child be free to be his/herself.

Note! This discussion (whether your child is LGBT) should not even come to the surface until he/she is a late teen. Then he/she should not feel threatened to bring it up. One son of mine felt bad that he hadn’t dated until his senior year. He worried that he would appear gay. It turns out that many young men do not date even until they are in college. Social pressure can be harmful.

Good Luck

In summary, try not to thinks of sex education as threatening and awkward. Conversations on the subject must be started before age 12 so your child does not get all his/her information from others. However many conversations will be started by your child’s questions and will probably be brief. So, be prepared to give good and safe information.

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