Who should tutor the child?A medical expert, Dr Mrs Yemisi Oyeyipo of the National Hospital, Abuja said “sex education for children should start as early as possible, immediately the child starts knowing that a girl has a vagina and boys have penis. Tell them to always inform you if anybody tries to abuse them. Do not be shy to teach the girl child about menstruation. How it feels, breast development, how to handle the pad and the likes. It’s never a bad thing to do. It’s your own responsibility which will eventually contribute to lessening the vices in the society.” She also said that it is good for the parent to inform the boy child about puberty, there should be no beating around the bush, no shying away. So their first experience would not be embarrassing, frightening and as such push them to tutors outside the home. Children, especially when growing to teenagers could be somehow shy and timid to express such, so even when they are saying nothing, still perform your duty, she added.The school, is another good source of sex education, no doubt, reliable information are given to children on sex, reproduction, growth e.t. c nevertheless the family should be the first avenue.According to Evangelist Emmanuel Adoyi of Liberation Methodist church, Gwarinpa, “it is not wrong for parents to give children sex education, and as a matter of fact the family which is the first agent of socialisation should also be the first avenue where children should be given sex education.” He also said that it is necessary for parents to do this because as the children grow into teenagers, they tend to be more inquisitive and as a result, go in search of the knowledge in a wrong way which can be disastrous.According to Mrs Odeniyi Odunayo, a parent and a teacher, “You should be your child’s tutor! Before maturity stage: there are some little things you should start telling your children about their bodies, as early as at the age of three upwards.You can tell your daughter not to allow any uncle carry her on their laps. And for the boys, let them know that nobody out there should touch their private part.”Mrs Ify Nwankwo, a mother said “Initially we have to protect them, when they are still small and vulnerable, when they cannot really talk, resist and react on their own. You know, male children too can be abused sexually. It does not only apply to the females. Right from age five, I used to tell my son that he should not touch his ‘ wiwi’ and do not allow anybody to touch it. So with that kind of knowledge, he will report anybody that does otherwise. Again, we parents have to keep a close watch on them.” She added that, when she was still with her parents, she was not given so many lectures on sex education, and as a matter of fact it is due to the African system which does not permit parents to discuss certain things especially relating to sex with children.Mrs Safiya Mohammed a mother and a trader says “I talk to my children indirectly on sex education, so as not to destroy their future. This is because when children already have the idea ,I believe they will want to know more, which might be disastrous. And again by watching film and through other forms of exposure, they will even know more than the parents. So, the only thing is to keep praying for them.”
Benefits of early child sex educationWhen adequate information is given to the children, it saves the parent the stress of correcting them when they are already used to wrong information. It reduces the risk of sexual exploitation and harassments faced by children especially girls. It makes them know right from the wrong.It gives them a good sense of belonging, as the children tend to have confidence in their parents and approach them with difficultiesAnd you are gradually building a better society, when children are enlightened.
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