Not all topics are easy to discuss at home with kids. There are some things that parents would certainly prefer not to talk about, either out of embarrassment or out of fear of saying something wrong. Still, there are topics that have to be discussed and demystified in order to help kids grow in a more holistic and informed way. Sexuality, bullying and drugs are just a few of them. Check it out!
By Ana Roque
Photography rights reserved
Illustration Laura Pina
Talking about sex with kids is essential. If it is not the parents who take the first step, children will end up asking questions in the most hilarious ways imaginable.
We need to pass on the idea to children that sex and sexuality are not something dirty or forbidden. Sex must be viewed as naturally as possible, without taboos. Sexuality is something natural and better experienced with tranquillity and in an informed and safe way. There should be no room for prejudice or misinformation.
Kids should also be able to ask their parents any questions.
There are parents who prefer to keep their kids away from screens in the first years of life, but the truth is that sooner or later they will become part of all children’s lives. With screens, social media inevitably comes too and it is essential to teach children how to use them well. Explaining that they shouldn’t communicate with strangers is essential, and setting time limits for screens and social media can be an excellent idea. There is no point in denying their existence, but there must be other ways for them to use their free time.
Despite being very useful and a part of our daily lives, when misused, social media can be dangerous and ruin kids’ quality of life. Misusing social media can lead to problems such as cyberbullying and even depression. Parents should explain to kids how to use social media safely and answer any questions that come up.
From the moment they exist as social beings, children will be exposed to others. This brings many good things, but potentially other bad things too. Bullying is just one of them. It is very important that this issue is approached as naturally as possible, at home, and that children understand that if they are being bullied or feel threatened or afraid of a schoolmate, they should tell a responsible adult and ask for help.
We need to teach them to distinguish what is right from what is wrong – marginalising others is never right!
Talking about money is taboo in many homes. Few adults do it with each other, let alone with kids. However, financial education is very important so that young people grow up knowing the real value of money and how to control their personal finances. Once kids show an interest in coins or banknotes, it’s a good time to address the issue and explain that money allows you to acquire essential goods such as food. At this point, parents can give their child a piggy bank and introduce the concept of savings, teaching them that money is a reward for effort and not equally available to everyone. It is also good to demystify the concept of credit cards so kids don’t think they can buy everything even when they don’t have the money for it. Take kids shopping and to the bank so they can understand how real-life transactions work. When they are older, it may be a good idea to give them an allowance so that they develop a healthier relationship with money.