I have heard from numerous parents and youth leaders about their discomfort on talking about sex to kids growing up in their homes/communities. In Indian culture, such topics are never discussed openly and considered a taboo. Not to mention how awkward we feel talking about this stuff publicly. It was never done to them and they do not know how to go about.
Many Indian parents wants to believe that their kids are not doing it. But sadly reality is it is on their minds often and the media, popular culture and friends are constantly bombarding them with message to ‘just do it’, ‘everybody is doing it’, ‘there is something wrong if you haven’t experienced it already’ etc.
According to figures from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 750,000 teen girls get pregnant each year. Thirty-one percent of young women get pregnant before they turn 20.
10 Tips on Sex-Ed for Parents & Youth leaders
1. First, encourage communication by reassuring kids that they can talk to you about anything. 2. Look for teachable moments. A friend’s pregnancy, a TV show/movie, baby etc can help you start a conversation. 3. Listen more than you talk. Repeat what they are saying to make sure what he or she meant to ask. 4. Don’t jump to conclusions. The fact that a teen asks about sex does not mean they are sexualy active. 5. Answer questions simply and directly. Give factual, honest, short, and simple answers. 6. Respect your child’s views. Share your thoughts and values and help your child express theirs. 7. Reassure young people that they are normal — as are their questions and thoughts. 8. Teach your children ways to make good decisions about sex and coach them on how to get out of risky situations. 9. Admit when you don’t know the answer to a question. Suggest the two of you find the answer together on the Internet or in the library. 10. Discuss that at times your teen may feel more comfortable talking with someone other than you. Together, think of other trusted adults with whom they can talk. (Source: www.advocatesforyouth.org)