Parents play key role in kids' sexuality education

It is heartening to know that Ms Clara Chow takes an active step to talk to her children about sexual development ("I teach my kids about the birds and bees"; Monday).

Indeed, parents should be the primary educators of their children's sexuality education, starting from a young age.

For instance, parents can talk to their toddlers about their body parts when bathing them, and teach them which parts of their body are considered private and precious.

As children grow older, parents can explain in greater detail the role of their genitals in reproduction, and how to exercise responsible sexual behaviour.

It is important for parents to educate their children about sexuality in age-appropriate ways.

It is also important for both parents to carry out their children's sexuality education, as research indicates that the father and mother play unique and indispensable roles in their child's sexual development and in teaching about relationships with the same and opposite sex.

Furthermore, there are some issues daughters would be more comfortable talking to their mothers about, and other issues that sons would be more willing to ask their fathers about.

Ms Chow also rightly pointed out the sexual dangers of the digital age.

There is a more urgent need today for parents to teach their children self-protection through discernment skills. If parents do not educate their children on sexuality, society and culture will - and the values taught by popular culture might not be the values parents want their children to learn.

That said, the best way to impart values to children is to live them out.

More than just educating their children in words, when parents model healthy sexuality and wholesome relationships, they are conducting the best sexuality education for their children to prepare them for life.

Shelen Ang (Mrs)
Principal Trainer
Focus on the Family Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2016, with the headline 'Parents play key role in kids' sexuality education'. Print Edition | Subscribe