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Talk gender with the kids - Schools help parents discuss sexual issues with children

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By RICHA BANSAL
  • Published 19.09.05
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City psychologists are on a mission to empower parents to discuss sexual issues with their children. And the schools are providing them with a platform.

While schools like Heritage and Mahadevi Birla for Girls have already held workshops for the parents, others like DPS Megacity and Lakshmipat Singhania Academy are set to follow suit.

The purpose of the programmes is to help parents teach their wards to respect the other gender so that they can handle interpersonal relationships better. Going beyond the biological aspect, the programmes deal with the larger issue of sexuality.

Counselling psychologist Salony Priya, who has designed one such programme, calls it ?sexuality education?.

She said: ?Parents have to overcome mental barriers and talk with their wards so that the numerous confusions and problems that arise later can be minimised.?

Her modules are designed according to the age of the children to be addressed. The approach is open as the parents have to ultimately find their own language, Priya explained.

Principal of Heritage School Neelkanth Gupta stated: ?If children are comfortable with either gender from the beginning, it leads to an open and healthy environment.? The school has been holding workshops for both junior and senior students.

Personal experience has prompted DPS Megacity principal Melville Samuel down the counselling path.

?I have always been very open with my children and today, I see that they are able to handle life better,? he said.

According to psychiatrist Aniruddha Deb: ?The norm in our society is to bring up boys and girls separately. This leads to complications, when they are thrown together in real life. They are often uncomfortable with each other, lack mutual respect and are emotionally confused.?

Deb, who has conducted a workshop for parents at St Xavier?s School, recounted: ?I told the parents that at least once in their lifetime, their child will ask them about sex, and if they can?t answer him properly then, they will never hear the next question.?

Also, added Deb, ?it has been found the world over that children prefer it if their parents talk to them about sex?.

A parent who attended the workshop at Heritage pointed out: ?A lot depends on the maturity level of the parents and the social milieu of the child.?