In order to teach sexuality to their children in a comprehensive way, parents must approach the topic from a dual perspective
On the one hand, sex education must include anatomical, physiological and emotional information about sexuality. This teaching should be accompanied by a particular attitude. Preschool age offers the ideal time to set the foundations for a healthy attitude towards sexuality.
Sex represents a marvelous part of human life. It can give great benefit. Apart from its reproductive function, which provides the enormous satisfaction of children, sex performs another function which is to unite a man and woman in a level of intimacy that cannot be achieved in any other way. It is a source of pleasure for the married couple and it allows for mutual gratification through the exchange of sex. However, if badly used, sex can cause devastating physical and moral effects.
Parents who are believers in God can reason with their children, explaining that God designed the man and the woman to be sexual beings so that they can enjoy their sexuality responsibly. From an early age, they can be taught that in order to control this instinct God created a season so that animals could only perform the sexual act at particular times. ln the case of humans. however. their sexuality is continual and they are expected to intelligently control it.
The divine plan was that sexual proximity would only occur when there was a stable and loving commitment between the man and the woman. Different societies ensure this stability ln different ways. but the most common one is through the monogamous marriage of two mature and committed people. Sex should be used within marriage and certain limits to guarantee physical. moral and emotional security for the man and the woman.
Modesty is another aspect of the topic that should be taught at this age. Children need to learn the appropriate use of clothing in different contexts.
For example, we can explain to our 6year-old son that when we have visitors. they may feel offended if he emerges from the bathroom completely naked and walks through the living room. it may not bother him yet, but he must begin to think about the feelings of others, especially as he grows older.
On the other hand, too much emphasis in this regard is not correct. There are parents who make sure that each time they change their clothes, the door to the bathroom or bedroom is locked so that the children cannot enter.
Once some parents explained how embarrassed they felt when they had forgotten to lock the door and their 5-year old son walked in and saw them undressed. The mother screamed and ran towards the door to lock it. while she reprimanded her son, crying, “Louis, we have told you ten thousand times not to enter without knocking!“
Such an exaggerated reaction can cause confusion and can have a negative impact upon the child who is only beginning to learn cultural norms. It is better to remain calm and to simply ask the child to wait outside until the parents finish dressing.
Generally, a healthy attitude toward sexuality consists in providing the children with correct information that is simple and appropriate for their age as well as presenting the moral principles associated with the topic in a simple and natural way. These messages should be in harmony with the position of the parents and should never be accompanied with threats, punishments or embarrassing situations, all of
which are traditionally associated with sex.