Topic A: How do you inform children about sexuality?

As you can see there are a lot of good reasons to make knowledge about sensuality and sexual behaviour a natural part of your work with the children in spite of our natural reservations as caregivers.

Interview exercise – 30 minutes

The best way to overcome reservations is to understand how you may be influenced by what you experienced in your own childhood regarding sexual behaviour and information.
Please interview each other in turns for ten minutes each:

  • How old were you when you first became aware of sexual behaviour among adults (for example your parents)?
  • How old were you when you first became aware of sexual behaviour among other children or teenagers?
  • How did this affect you (curiosity, joy, fear, shame, etc.)?
  • How was sexual behaviour and contraception talked about (or ignored) in your family, school and between peers?
  • Were these attitudes in your local culture related to shame, guilt and denial?
  • How did your parents or important persons (teachers, pedagogues) inform you about sexual behaviour and preventive measures?
  • What were the consequences of this level of information for you and for your friends/peers?
  • Did you have any friends who were not informed about or able to use contraception? What consequences did this have for their lives and health?

Reflection and discussion – 30 minutes

Looking back at your childhood experiences:

  • What do you think is most important for children to know about sexual behaviour?
  • How old should they be when we start informing them?
  • How can we as caregivers practice this information to children?
  • How can we as caregivers help each other to feel comfortable and calm (please remember the dimensions of secure caregiver behaviour – they can also be applied when you talk to children and young people about sex and contraception!)