Sexuality education for our children is important in guiding them through their journey in life. As school is a fundamental aspect of a child’s growth and learning, it is important to impart in them sufficient knowledge for them to be able to face the world in various aspects – one of which is sexuality. With increasing “bad sexual events” all around the world, it is even more important for us to walk hand in hand with our children in school and at home. So as parents, how should we “protect” our children? We first cover what the school is already educating our children, then discuss ways we can potentially value add as parents at home.
To begin off, sexuality education in schools aims to hone students’ social-emotional skills so that they can better understand themselves, and eventually be able to maintain healthy relationships in school. This is through lessons, talks and discussions with students on big questions pertaining to their preferences, choices, likes and dislikes and how they generally like to interact with people. With this exposure and foundation built on understanding their own identity, they would ideally be able to handle and make responsible decisions on sexuality matters. With this skill set built in place from young, children will generally be more prepared for complex situations that might come their way during interpersonal relations.
Moving forward, students are also taught how to apply their socio-emotional skills in an appropriate and supervised manner in school. This further supports their growth and development in their thinking. In primary schools, students are introduced to personal safety and also protecting themselves from sexual exploitation and abuse. This sets the tone of sexuality from young and how it is pertinent to care for your own wellbeing. They are also taught cyber-safety and how to avoid engagement/conversations with dubious strangers online. Moving on to secondary schools and at the pre-university levels, the focus is shifted to building healthy relationships with others. It’s like a level up yes? Building healthy relationships with others would help students better understand boundary setting, respecting others’ boundaries and consequences for overstepping those boundaries. As students grow older, they are also equipped with the knowledge to seek help from trusted adults like their parents, teachers and school counsellors if they require additional guidance. They may also do so when they feel that their peers are being put in difficult situations or harmful influences and need intervention.
So as parents, what can do we do to better the foundation of our children’s sexuality education and journey? As parents, we should keep in check with our children, possibly maintaining close and open relationships with them. Giving them space to make their own decisions while offering support would be ideal. As parents, we can also impart values to our children and provide guidance at home if they ever encounter situations or display abnormal behaviour at home. The partnership with parents and schools “being on the same page” on this journey with our children would definitely make a big impact on the way they view sexuality education as a whole. It’s collaborative.
The journey to self-discovery is not easy. With increased interactions as we grow older – be it in school, in tuition centres or on the internet – children certainly require some form of guidance and support from schools and us parents. FamilyTutor as a Singapore tuition agency hopes that every child is protected and safe from anything they do not consent and we care about that a lot. If you’re a student reading this, remember to keep safe!
For your information, the ‘Current Affairs’ series covers the latest news and developments in the realm of education, added with a dash of discussion and a sprinkle of opinion!
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