It is important to instill sex positivity in your kids. If you have been wondering how to be a sex-positive parent, here are some expert-approved ways that can help.
Published: 16 Jan 2024, 21:00 pm IST
Sex is a natural part of our lives and it only makes sense to talk about sexuality in all its fairness. Yes, conversations about sex are still hushed and laden with stigma, but embracing a sex-positive approach as a parent becomes an important tool to shape the future of your child. With so many sexuality terms being thrown around, it is more important than ever to be a sex-positive parent and to teach kids how to be sex-positive.
For the unversed, sex positivity is a way of being that gives importance to pleasure and freedom, instead of shame and judgment. If you are confused about sex positivity and how you can instill it in your kid’s life, read on.
What is sex positivity for children?
In the most simple terms, sex positivity is believing that sex is a positive thing in a person’s life. Psychiatrist Dr Sanjay Kumavat explains, “Sex positivity is the way children are brought up with age-appropriate and adequate knowledge about their orientation, and the concept of sex. This comprises knowledge sharing with respect to sex organs, the importance of healthy relationships, all aimed at letting them know about sexuality positively.”
What makes a parent sex-positive?
There is never a right time to have the “talk” with your kid. However, it is still important to know that you must not avoid talking about sexuality with your children. It is important for their overall development. For a parent to be sex-positive, they need to be comfortable and have a clear understanding of what sexuality means.
“Sex-positive parents are not embarrassed to talk about sexuality openly and adequately. Adequate is the word I emphasise, because it should not be too much or less, and they should not be embarrassed about communicating about these issues. They should start talking as soon as the child starts developing secondary sexual characters, and when they see that the child is showing some interest in sexuality, like showing interest in cross-gender relationships and friendships,” says Dr Kumavat.
How to be a sex-positive parent?
If you have been wondering how to be a sex-positive parent without going overboard, here’s what you can do.
1. Have open communication
The first thing is to be open to your children by communicating your ideas and thoughts clearly. Be very open and always watch for the signs that your child is showing some interest in sexuality.
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2. Do not judge
Parents should not suppress children. If they ask you queries, be open to clear their doubts. Even if parents find the queries stupid or which will require too much information sharing, the doubts shouldn’t be suppressed. Keep communicating with children and give them adequate information by resolving their queries and avoiding snapping at them, advises the expert.
3. Teach them about consent and safe sex
Make them aware of being guarded about sexuality, and the precautions to be taken. Talk to them particularly about sexuality under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or sexuality crossing the limits, which is not age-appropriate. Talk about appropriate touch, and how it should be an act of respect and compassion.
4. Be vigilant
With so much information available, it can be confusing for kids to know what information they should consume or avoid. One of the biggest influences on kids these days is social media. Make sure that you know the kind of information your child is consuming through these platforms. Give them some guidance about what the problems are with believing things on this website, and the misinformation that is shared, recommends Dr Kumavat.
5. Limit internet access, but do not judge
It is important to help your child understand the ways to separate right from wrong. You have to make sure your kids are not hooked or addicted to certain kinds of inappropriate sites. Such kind of openness and guardedness also should be there as necessary. Don’t give too much access to the Internet – it has to be monitored and a judicious approach must be taken when giving internet access, says the psychiatrist.
Also read: How much is too much porn, and why it may be harmful: A psychologist answers
Being sex-positive means that you think of sex as a positive thing and do not associate it with shame and guilt. It is vital to instill these values in your child to make sure they do not judge the world too harshly or feel judged for the choices they make. Your child should feel comfortable talking about sexual matters, feelings they get, ideas or thoughts that cross their mind, or how someone’s touch makes them feel. They should be able to define sexuality in a positive sense – one that allows them to be free and not caged. And there is not a better feeling for a parent to help their child understand who they are and be true to themselves.