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Education the key to life


marciadottin, [email protected]

Education the key to life

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Dear Christine,
The Barbadian society is still quite conservative but times are changing and our children are changing with them.
This means we need to change the way we relate to our children. With regards to sex education, children need to be educated at a levelthey can understand.
I didn’t say lecture, I said educate. Sometimes if people think you are preaching to them they will tune out and this is not something we want them to be uninformed about. It is a topic which holds a great deal of importance.
Education is supposed to start at home but sometimes parents prefer to think their children are “good children” and therefore would not dare to engage in such behaviour.
The reality is, it’s not about being a “good child” or a “bad child”. Children are being exposed to sex daily in the media, on the Internet and even at school because of the stories they hear from their friends.
They need to be properly educated. I certainly didn’t receive a sex talk from my parents while I was growing up, unless of course you count my father’s stern warning of “don’t go and do any foolishness”.
The topic was so taboo back then that the assumption was that I knew what foolishness was and I should have no part in it.
It is not bashing the way I was raised. I simply grew up in a different generation and believe it or not I’m only in my early 20s so it wasn’t that long ago.
Parents need to establish a relationship based on mutual respect and trust with their children. Being a strict parent is fine if that’s the way you choose to run your family, but at the end of the day your children need to know they can trust you because they will have questions.
If you are not approachable they will most likely ask a friend who may give them wrong answers and bad advice.
We really need to properly educate our youth so they can make the right choices. It’s not just about telling them that sex makes babies so don’t do it.
We also need to explain to them the potential ramifications of their actions whether it be getting pregnant, contracting a sexually transmitted infection or a sexually  transmitted disease.
First, they need to know how the body works, what sex is, how it affects the body and how contraception works.
It may seem obvious but I once heard a 21-year-old female say she took a birth control pill the day after she had unprotected sex so she couldn’t get pregnant.
It’s not a laughing matter! This shows that we desperately need to educate both our girls and boys about what is going on with their bodies. On the other hand, many teenage girls become pregnant simply because they were too ashamed to buy condoms.
It’s because a request for condoms by a young person can at times be met with disapproving glares, glances and sometimes questions like “what do you want condoms to do?”
The only questions a salesperson should ask someone who is seeking to purchase condoms is their age. Since 16 is the age of consent, anyone under that age cannot legally consent to sex.
Finally, to the children, don’t be in a hurry to grow up; take it one day at a time. With grown-up actions comes grown-up responsibilities. Enjoy your youth; don’t rush the process because one day you will surely miss it!
To parents, remember you were once a child and you also needed someone to guide and listen to you.
 Put your judgements aside and really talk to your children. Find out what they know and don’t know about sex and help them to make positive, informed decisions.
 Education is the key that opens the door to everything in life.
– K.B
Dear K.B,
Thanks once again for your correspondence. I certainly believe it will open the eyesof many – parents and young people.
You mentioned that you are in your early 20s and I appreciate the time you have taken as a young adult to make this valuable contribution and share this advice.
– CHRISTINE            

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