My 4 year old Nishika was staring at the stray dog feeding the pups and asked me where the Papa dog was. The next question was whether Dogs married with the aplomb like humans do. As the question was sudden, I was not equipped with an apt answer and I just mentioned that they do not celebrate the wedding or send cards but they are quite happy together as a family.
Children today are naturally exposed to the various shows in media and know for sure the concept of family and marriage. Sex education must actually begin at home in a gentle way without discriminating whether the child is a boy or girl. Their curiosity begins rapidly and especially if they are around older kids or siblings, the questions increase alarmingly.
Explaining them in the right way is important. In case you are stumped and really do not know what to say assure them of an answer. Kids can always be told, ‘I will explain to you once I have finished the dishes.’ Telling them, ‘Ask Papa’ or ‘Ask Teacher’ will be beating around the bush and they will be convinced that the question was wrong.
Exposure to internet must be controlled at all times. Children love the information and once they get into the habit of chatting this can be addictive. Inspecting seems necessary and here there is no requirement of privacy. Explain to kids about the dangers of befriending strangers and the opposite sex online and directly.
Kids are often like cops with a strong memory. Fibbing will be caught and interpreted as a right way to deal with things. Tell them about their body parts and also tell them that as they get older their appearance changes. Like Nishika once asked me, ‘Why has Vicky got a mustache? And I told him that he is growing strong and soon will be a Big boy.’ I also showed her own new born pic and explained that as just as her fingers and toes grew she too will grow physically into a Big girl.
Parents are often the best teachers to determine how much explanation is required. This is directly related to age. Broaching the topic yourself is a good idea and as kids walk on the threshold to puberty they will require more of your support and experience sharing.