Positive Sexuality: About the Child Who Doesn't Ask
There are a number of reasons why a child may remain silent on the subject of sex. His interest may not have been stimulated through natural family living. He may be an only child or a last child who is not alerted by the new baby. A child may try "to be good", but somewhere he has picked up the impression that certain questions might be "bad." Another child who has already got his information outside the family circle may have been embarrassed or ridiculed, and therefore may not feel free to raise any more questions.
But regardless of the reason, a child who does not ask needs help just as much as one who does. There are many positive ways of teaching sex education from everyday life that don't involve sitting down with a book and delving into a question-and-answer session. The first way is learning from brothers and sisters. If there isn't a new baby in the family, take him to visit a friend who has one and just let him see the baby. Nothing special needs to be said.
Another method of learning is from nature. The child who sees animals mating gives parents an excellent opportunity to point out that children have mothers and fathers just like animals. Parents can also point out that when people mate it is different from when animals mate, because mothers and fathers love each other - that is why they get married and live together, to have a child they love.
Often parents feel they have done in their duty when they merely announce to their child, "If you have any questions about sex, just come and ask us." Yet this child never asks his parents. It isn't enough just to tell your child that he may come to you with questions. A good teacher will not see his task merely in terms of sitting by and waiting until questions are asked. He will try to stimulate wonder and curiosity to that questions will be asked. He wants to do more than just impart information. He wants to help each child become a learning, growing person who eagerly explores the wonderful world in which he lives. And a good teacher knows that learning occurs gradually.
Parents who say nothing are neglecting their responsibility to bring up the subject. Christian parents are most anxious, for instance, to share their Christianity with a child during his early years. They point out all the things in nature God has made, how God loves us and cares for us, and how we can talk with God. Few Christian parents sit back and refuse to discuss God and the Bible or wait for their child to take the initiative in asking. On the contrary, most Christian parents talk over the all-important concepts of God, faith and salvation with their child. Why, then, should they lock up sex in a separate compartment marked, "Don't investigate"? Bring sex out in the open. If you find it difficult at first, read a book about sex, attend a class, or somehow educate yourself so that you can discuss the subject with ease. And every time you do discuss it, it will make it easier for the next time.