Kids’ minds are like sponges, they absorb everything they see whether on TV, in the home, or from their playmates. Television has so much power on children all the more because it is highly accessible. Some of the things our children do which we find cute are often copied from what’s on TV. It is important, therefore that children are supervised closely by an adult during TV time.
When children see kissing scenes on television, you can tell them that it is a natural thing people in loving relationships do. Explain to them that these are signs of affection, just like what they see between you and your spouse. These examples will show your children what a good and happy relationships look like.
However, “sexy” scenes require a more in-depth explanation and proper timing. It is your duty as a parent to explain sex if you deem your child ready, but again focus on the fact that this is something sacred, private, and is only shared with the spouse. If he or she asks about indecencies such as scantily clad women dancing, carefully explain wrong from right. Tell them some people do what they do, and fortunately they have parents like you to steer them from the wrong direction. Reinforce the values of respect by telling them what should not be emulated.
Conversely, is not a bad thing to see your younger child “practicing” how to kiss, hug or hold hands because they are completely natural human behaviors and never something to be ashamed of. Raising a child to be overly conscious of his or her sexuality may, in fact, backfire. Movies as well as TV channels have content warnings before airing their programs. As parents, it is our responsibility to screen what our children are watching. Exposing them to sexy scenes too early may cause kids and adolescents to use their sexuality to rebel against society or their parents. Make sure other adults in the house such as older relatives or yayas are aware of your programming restrictions and comply. You have to be very firm in this respect. Also, emphasize that overt displays of affection are never ideal. With older children, you can let them know what can or cannot be done in public. It also depends on your family’s particular culture and position toward these matters, but the key to understanding is an open communication among family members.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment
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