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Informative Articles

Bless the Children
Previous generations where raised under the premise that children are to be seen and not heard. If they altered in teaching, the next generation was heard. But, their words weren't taken seriously; as adults always think they know more than...

Five Tips for Successful Grandparenting
1. Boundaries are necessary for control and safety. All children need and must learn to respect boundaries. Being clear about expectations before an activity begins frees you and the child to enjoy the event and ensures the safety of...

Getting What YOU Want in Parenting
Have you ever noticed that everything is a battle with your child? If it is, then one of three things is happening. Your child, you or both are in a competitive need cycle. What is a competitive need cycle? As humans, we are all born with five...

How to Organize Christmas Toy Shopping
It's so easy to go overboard when shopping for kids this time of year. We want them to enjoy all the things we didn't have growing up. It's important to set limits though. 1. List all the children you'll buy for this Christmas. Don't forget an...

Think Like Your Kids - And Understand Them More
Seven-year old Michael was on a school trip to a Wildlife Centre in Central Scotland. It was near the end of the day and they were in the Gift Shop before boarding the bus for the journey home. Poor Michael! He couldn't resist the...

 
Children’s Sexuality

We are all born as sexual beings. It is as much a part of our anatomy, our emotional and mental make-up as breathing. Whether we are acting upon our sexual drive at any given moment is beside the point. I think it’s important to realize that children have sexual feelings, just not as developed as adult feelings. Whether these instincts remain healthy is quite another story. As parents, I believe we need to instill a healthy outlook in our kids about sex and their imminent sexuality.

The first inkling we have of our little ones being sexual is their first attempts at masturbation. This could take any form you can imagine but most parents notice our babies discover their genitals at about 10 months of age and maybe younger. Eureka! A new toy! Hopefully, we won’t freak out about it. It is, after all, their toy! This is their body and it is their innocent need to discover how the various parts function, feel and react. There have been countless studies and articles written about masturbation. Clearly, it is a healthy form of sexual exploration and usually begins in early childhood.

So, that said, let’s think about how we, as parents and caretakers, can deal with this sometimes-embarrassing issue.
Personally, it never bothered me when my toddlers began exploring their bodies. I’d gently point out that it wasn’t appropriate to do in front of most people and certainly not at the dinner table but other than that, the issue was never really an ... issue.

I have witnessed other parents go through a variety of reactions to their baby’s or toddler’s wandering hands, from actually hitting a child for innocently touching their


genitals to a mortified: “How could you?!” Gee, how could they NOT? Come on ... they’re babies, they’re exploring the world and themselves. Where is the shame, guilt or horror in this? Only in parent’s and other adult minds, that’s where. How on earth would a baby or young toddler assume that touching a part of their being is bad, evil, shameful or humiliating unless their significant care taker tells them so, whether in words, actions or obvious distress over the situation?

This brings us to the probable conclusion that our kids will grow into adults feeling ashamed, guilty and weird about their sexuality if we, as their predominant instructors of life, teach them to feel bad about their natural curiosity.

I certainly understand that some adults are just not comfortable with this parenting issue or, down the line, discussing sex in a logical and rational way with their questioning adolescents. A good plan would be to enlist the help and guidance of a trusted family member or the child’s pediatrician. Better yet, parents who feel uncomfortable should discuss this with their own doctor, trusted friend or family member and then have a back up plan to deal with the issue when it arises, which it most definitely will.

About the Author

Rexanne Mancini is the mother of two daughters. She maintains an extensive yet informal parenting and family web site, Rexanne.com – http://www.rexanne.com -Visit her site for good advice, award-winning Internet holiday pages and some humor to help you cope. Subscribe to her free newsletter, Rexanne’s Web Review, for a monthly dose of Rexanne: http://www.rexanne.com/rwr-archives.html

 

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