Most of us remember the sex education class we had in elementary school. I remember watching a video of the birds and the bees and learning about the reproductive system. Yet, there are many schools that due to budget cuts have eliminated the need for sex education. This could be a problem, like it was for a Texas high school that is in the middle of a chlamydia outbreak, possibly due to the fact that the school does not offer sexual education. Many parents feel that it’s the school’s responsibility to talk to their sons and daughters about sex, but is it entirely up to them?
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One of the good things about sex education classes is that it starts a much needed conversation. It does the legwork for parents and when the students get home, parents can ask them specific questions. But, if there’s no conversation happening at school or at home, it’s a problem. So, here are some tips to help parents start the conversation and hopefully prevent their kids from catching a sexually transmitted disease.
- Start the talk early, as early as toddlers when they’re barely discovering their bodies. Tell them the correct term of their genitals.
- By the time they are 8 years old you should talk to them about puberty, facial hair, body odor, and breasts and menstruation for girls.
- Encourage an open conversation and ask them if they have questions about what is happening and how it makes them feel.
- Talk to your teens about sex and the use of condoms and protective sex.
- Talk to them about the dangers of not using protection and STD’s and the health risks that come these.
- Let your child know that you’re available to talk anytime.
- With the Google era, when kids have questions they could just Google it. Make sure they know that they can come to you first because you don’t want them to end up looking at websites that might confuse them or give the wrong information.
- If you have any questions that you can’t answer or have a difficult time explaining, as your doctor or seek professional help.