Little children can be easily influenced by things and people around them. Sometimes they can become responsible for the abusive situations they or others might get into due to their behavior. I saw something recently that both embarrassed me and shook me up. A Journalist Reveals decided to consult a psychiatrist Dr. Diplakshmi Dhopeshwarkar to find out how this can be avoided.
What is the right age to talk to children about sexual dimorphism in humans?
The right age for children to understand sexual dimorphism is about 7-9 years. This can be done through analogy and metaphors.
I have seen some 2-3-year-olds very inquisitive about their brother’s and sister’s sexual organs. I saw a little girl touching her brother’s groin and a boy touching his sister’s newly forming breasts, on different occasions. All this happened in public places. I found the situations embarrassing though I don’t know these children personally. How to deal with such situations, if the same situation happens with someone I know?
It is best to educate children in terms of personal space and respecting another person. It may not be helpful to speak about right and wrong here. That can influence the thought process of the child and induce guilt.
What is the right age to talk about sex?
Nowadays, most children by the age of 9 to 10 years understand their body. However, for some children, you may have to wait up to 12 years to understand this depending on their emotional development.
How to teach children not to get caught in sexually abusive situations with anyone? What is the right age for the same?
We need to teach children about such situations through analogy and metaphors. The children can be taught about it as early as 5 years.
How to teach little children to keep their parents in the loop about everything they do and all the things that happen to them?
This depends upon the parents’ way of communicating with their kids. The parents should maintain a habit of daily conversation and sharing how their day has been. The child will learn the importance of sharing by the actions of their parents. This can only be encouraged by a healthy rapport with the parent and if the child feels understood by the parent instead of feeling judged.
About Dr. Diplakshmi Dhopeshwarkar: Dr. Diplakshmi Dhopeshwarkar is a Consultant Psychiatrist, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Transpersonal Regression Therapist.