Monday, August 31, 2009

Healthy Parenting Topic;Sex Education In Teens.

Puberty and teenage are the times when children should be taught about health and hygeine.As pubertal age is decreasing in Pakistani girls( 9 years), it is essential that they be made aware of the physiological changes and given a stable emotional support. Exposure to internet, peer pressure also may give unhealthy and often distorted input.sexual orientation, safe sex, issues of abuse and rape may take the child and families unaware. I have seen good Pakistani families suffer and almost emotionally and mentally devastated when their child is raped or sexually abused. This is happening at a larger scale in cities now as more and more children are bieng exposed to urban life. Also older boys who are coming from rural ,landlord background are making young girls in schools target of thier abuse. It is essential for both parents and teachers to teach kids about sex and procreation in a socially acceptable language and environment.Talking about sex does not increase activity in children and infact may decrease unhealthy risks and behaviour, including getting infections like Hepatitis which is increasing in Pakistani population.
These are some of the points which should be noted:
  • Always keep computer in shared spaces and check history daily. Use good software to block sites(K9) is a good example.
  • Be aware of your kids friends and their families and the time and places they spend and meet them in.
  • Always talk in an open and friendly manner and never use accusative or deriding language.
  • When giving education, use diagrams and make things look scientific.
  • In USA abstinence is bieng reported as ineffective, but Pakistani parents and teachers can use this effectively as we have religious and social taboos.Teenage unwanted pregnancy statistics are not known in Pakistan but I as a practicing gynaecologist in a large city have seen a large number of cases most of them of assault on children.It is therefore a must to teach children about sex.
  • Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) which is also increasing in incidence and is a high cause of infertility in Pakistan should also be taught at an appropriate age. In Pakistan girls also marry young.
  • Teach your child in a manner that he /she may have a healthy attitude towards reproductive health.Nowadays a lot of deviant and bad exposure(especially in our society where health education is not given) to sex may risk the emotional and psychological state of a child.
  • Prevention of Hepatitis which is endemic in our towns and cities such as Larkana, Hyderabad is essential as this also occurs in unsafe sex and assault.
  • Make emotional and psychological aspects of puberty and teenage a part of education. A psychiatrist or psychologist can provide curriculum and topic support.
  • Give adequate information to the children about rape and sexual abuse. This has become very common both in school population and in families. Many children travel in buses, vans , and with drivers. Many children go to places with friends where they may suffer by friends and other persons. Only if they recognise the extent of assault or are aware of what is happening can they prevent and seek help. Always give your child your number on the speed dial. I have seen fainting people after injury bieng helped after using speed dial number.Boys should also be made aware of recognising abuse and made to report in confidence to parents and teachers. Brushing this issue aside as is bieng done by both parents and teachers in Pakistan will only make this issue graver as the statistics are markedly increasing.
  • Read about these topics and make your own notes. compare with others like teachers or other parents.some sites are; Web's health.