Here’s Why You Need To Have ‘The Sex Talk’ With Your Child
While we choose to ignore the not-so-childish-yet-adult scenes that play out on our screens at home, Madhavi doesn’t. A petroleum engineer by education, Madhavi Jadhav - CEO and Founder of That Mate - is on a mission to dispel myths around sex for adolescents, who are the most vulnerable and an ignored group.
“My niece got her periods when she was 11 years old. She asked her mother several types of questions like, why periods happen? Why they only happen to women? Can she get rid of them? Why it comes every month? My sister-in-law and my cousin, both, were uncomfortable answering her questions. They were trying to dodge her questions. This made me think, even in 2016, the situation hasn’t changed.
Words like condom and sanitary pads are considered ‘taboos’ in my family. I thought my cousin and my sister-in-law, who are almost a decade older than I am, wouldn’t keep their kids uninformed as my parents did. However, when my niece asked these questions and nobody in the family cared to answer, I realized something had to be done.”
Creating Sexual Awareness Among Teenagers
“Sex education is still very much a taboo in India. Parents get scandalized when it’s brought up. Teachers are uncomfortable discussing it in schools. And the internet is not always a reliable source.
This affects the kids, consciously or subconsciously, and typically has repercussions in the form of depression due to sudden physical and mental changes, which they are not properly aware of. Also, unprotected sex or incidents of sexual abuse don’t happen because of sex education, rather due to the lack of it.
I want That Mate to become a solution for all adolescent related health problems. We will be launching our comic books soon on topics like puberty, how babies are born, depression, anxiety, gender equality, teenage pregnancy etc. We are also planning to conduct workshops for teenagers as well as their parents.
What I want to tell people is that the topic of sexuality doesn’t just cover the sexual act. It covers a wide range of topics including those that people have a tendency to completely ignore. For example, child abuse is something that a lot of people have undergone.
When I launched my website and started talking about child abuse, I was surprised by how many people came up to me and confessed that they had been sexually abused as children.
We have conducted 10 workshops so far - for parents and for kids. We have connected with around 2000 kids. The response has been amazing. While kids ask questions like, “I have some white mark on my body is that a sign of puberty?”; college students ask questions like, “I have a small penis size is that an issue?”
We generally conduct workshops for boys and girls together. We do get resistance from the school authorities about this. However, we want children to know about puberty, regardless of their gender.”
Addressing The Curiosity
“Children of all age groups are curious to know about sex, periods and condoms. The advertisements and the physical changes that happen in their bodies, probe them to know more about it.
A lot of parents ask – “What would the children think of us once they get to know all this?”
Let me tell you – this fear is totally unfounded. Most of the times this awkwardness is mostly in the minds of parents. Honestly, children are just curious. I don’t think children feel odd if it is presented in a mature manner.
I plan on visiting schools and conducting sessions with kids as young as eight. I want to collaborate with schools and NGOs to spread awareness. The idea is to educate the kids and answer their queries through our forum. We also plan to have a one-on-one counseling session for the kids.”
Do you feel sex education is important for children? Share your views with us!
G*****Educating kids on the topic of sex will play a vital role in the reduction as well as removal of the act of 1.Marital rape 2.Child abuse 3.Sexual abuse 4.Domestic Violence 5.Harassment 6.Murder 7.Rape and some more mentally inflicted and instigated crimes.
R*****Sex education is very important, and the idea of comics, doing workshops and teaching in schools is awesome... This will help children a lot in gaining knowledge and awareness, I wish I would be part of your Ngo.
P*****Absolute need of the hour
H*****Also would love to be a part of this community....if possible
H*****MAM do conduct a workshop in HUBLI.My kids study in K.L.E.manjunathnagar school .N both my kids r in adolescent age ..badly need it . Also share some videos of ur workshops if possible .It would be of great help .
H*****Of course it's 'THE MOST IMPORTANT TOPIC 'nowadays .Need n right of growing kids ...to know right things in right way n at right time will avoid many complications n misunderstandings .It will give them a scientific approach to look at these things n not in a bad way ...thy will learn to support n help each other in such situations .
AnonymousIt is very important to educate children's regarding sex and it's related topics. . I have come across many people who hesitate / feel ashamed to speak about these topics. . I encourage this kind of sessions nd even one on one counselling will be helpful to today's generation. . Let me know if you need any help from my side, it will be pleasure to support..
R*****Yes it is important.due to lack of knowledge childrens are very much abused even by family members.but its quite difficult also sometimes to tell them.if its on counsiling then its ok.perents still hesitate to share the topic with children.