Sex is everywhere and it always has been, which means it’s important to make sure your kids are knowledgeable about it. A lot of schools, both public and private, attempt to narrow the knowledge gap by offering sex education classes, but those can only go so far.
Here are four reasons why, when it comes to teaching your kids, sex education just isn’t enough to do the trick:
1) Sex education tends to teach the WHAT of sex without teaching the WHY.
Sex education is great for teaching kids the physical reality of sex, as far as what can happen between two people and the many, many different ways one can achieve sexual pleasure. But sex education is sorely lacking when it comes to teaching the proper reasons to (and not to) have sex.
Sex is about far more than just ways to have an orgasm, and your kids deserve to know about the spiritual and emotional components behind their sex drive. They need to know why they feel the way they feel and why they want to act out on those feelings.
As a parent, you get to teach them that. Because if you can help them understand the why of sex, they’ll have much more respect for the what.
2) Focuses on general principles instead of your individual child.
Every kid is different.
Some are visual learners; others can just memorize books. For some, a list of rules is all they need—they’ll figure out the context from that. For others, the principles behind the rules make much more sense than the rules themselves.
The point is, sex education can only go so far when it comes to laying things out for a class. A curriculum like that must, by nature, be generic enough to reach a group of people of diverse education levels and learning styles.
3) No one knows your kids the way you do; it’s up to you to teach them about this most important thing in a way you know they’ll get it.
The fact of the matter is that no one knows your kids the way you do. Sex is, of course, a highly personal subject that should also get some highly personalized instruction.
Hopefully you have an established relationship with your child, to the point where you can provide that one-on-one counsel that they need when it comes to sex.
You need to be the one who can answer the questions they’re too embarrassed to ask. You need to be the one who teaches them about the glorious purpose behind sex—and to teach them that in a way that you know they’ll truly grasp what’s at stake.
Sex education can’t do that; you can.
4) It only lasts for a semester or a school year.
Teaching your child about sex isn’t a one-time thing.
It’s not something you impart to them over a single conversation, nor a subject they can master in a semester or school year. Your child is changing rapidly as they barrel through their teenage years, and as they change, they’re going to have new and different questions about sex.
Talking with your child about sex is a conversation that should last off and on for several years, not just for a single school year. As your child grows, so should their knowledge of sex and the wonders it holds – and how they should continue to respect those wonders into adulthood.
Sex education can be a great way to build on the instruction your kids are receiving from you, but it could never take the place of the loving relationship you’re building with your child.