I had my ostrich head jolted out of the sand by one of the topics at a parenting talk at Anne’s kindergarten. ‘Mama, apa itu seks?‘. (Mama, what is sex?) Holy @!$&*%. I didn’t even know the word ‘sex’ until like, what – 11? But that didn’t mean I was oblivious to it until then. I just didn’t know how to label it.
When I was 5, a family friend touched me inappropriately during a house party. On the molestation scale, it was a minor incident but it terrified and confused me. I had no idea what to do and so I instinctively kept it a secret. But I went to great lengths to avoid this person which was difficult to do because our families were often together.
Now that my eldest is the same age that I was, it sends chills down my spine to think of anything like that happening to her. When I saw the topic ‘Mama, apa itu seks?‘, I realised the best way to protect her is to break the secrecy around sex education. Very young children do not need to know all the intricacies of sex. But they do need to know that private parts are private and what to do if someone violates this sacred rule. I had my action plan but I needed help. If I talked to her with my own words, I’d screw it up for sure. So I went on Amazon and ordered a couple of books.
The books are rather graphic but written in a very age appropriate way. Still, I was blushing fifty shades of red as I started reading to the girls. But they were so matter-of-fact about everything. I could have been reading nursery rhymes for all they cared. You know why? For them, a vagina and a penis are no different from a hand and foot. They’re just body parts. Who was teaching who, exactly? Heh.
There are also other resources online that makes these conversations with them so much less awkward. Like this one:
As usual, use your discretion as a parent when talking about issues like this with your young ones. I am in no way an expert and neither am I promoting these books/resources. It’s just that, it has helped me and I hope it will help you too. I truly believe that when we know better, we do better. Our children deserve to have their innocence preserved for as long as possible.