There are some lessons that children must be taught from a young age. The first one being that bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. With marketing and the media force feeding up horse hung men in CK underwear to Victoria’s Secret showing us perfect 10’s with breasts so ample even Dolly Parton would blush. Unrealistic portrayals are everywhere.
Marina Fogle has opened up about discussing things with her children, and in her own words, the most used word in their vocabulary is ‘Why?’. ‘Why is Orange Juice orange?’.
After suffering the trauma of a still born child, she sought the advice of a counsellor who told her to open up about the tragic event, something that has helped break down some of the taboo walls surrounding parent and child conversations.
We should keep things age appropriate, but there is no harm in letting kids know that boys and men and a penis and that girls and women have vaginas, and that eventually as we develop, our bodies change. It’s not dirty, it’s basic biology. We’ll keep transgender out of this one for the sake of I only have 500 words.
It’s never too early to teach about inappropriate touching, consent and healthy relationships. How different families are made up and what is acceptable/unacceptable behaviour.
When the time comes, depending on the child, sex education is important, and explaining the whole making babies thing doesn’t have to be reading them 50 shades of grey. Just the basic biology of Man inserts penis into Woman’s Vagina (don’t use slang or baby words), ejaculates sperm, and if the time of the month is right, the woman’s egg is fertilized. 9 months later, a baby is born.
As they get older, they are going to discover that there is a little bit more to it than just the mechanics, and can be quite enjoyable. After all, if it wasn’t for sex being more than just a baby making technique, the planet wouldn’t be so over populated.
Showing them stretch marks, ‘normal’ non airbrushed models, scars and other things, that are pretty normal for most people, they will develop an understanding and confidence of their own bodies. So what your 14 year old only has small breasts, she’s going to be among the millions of other women that do. So what your 16 year old boy is a bit shorter? There are plenty of us about, just send him in the direction of The Lord of the Rings. It was little people that destroyed the ring and saved Middle Earth.
Also, you don’t have to be nudists to teach them body confidence. We all have the same bits and pieces, just in different shapes and sizes. Don’t be embarrassed about kids seeing you naked. It’s not something to be ashamed of. If anything it’s one of the most important tools to teaching body confidence. Seeing you not bothered about your body, encourages them to not be too bothered about theirs.