Sexuality Is Emotional, Not Physical


 Mrs. Yemisi Abioye, Director, Esther N’ Amos Enterprises and mother of four speaks on parenting and sex education

 There is this controvesy about sex education and the teenager in the home; would you please enlighten us why this controvesy rages in homes across the country?

Debates about sex education have focused on two different approaches; safe sex which encourage teens to use contraceptives, especially condoms, when having sex and abstinence education, which encourages teens to delay sexual activity until they are of age.

The truth parents should understand is that human sexuality is primarily emotional and psychological; it is not a physical thing.

That is why parents should encourage their wards to attend abstinence programmes which strongly encourage abstinence during the teens years and preferably until marriage.

This programme teaches that casual sex at an early age, not only poses serious threats of pregnancy and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, STDs, but can also undermine an individual’s capacity to build a loving, intimate relationship as an adult.

This programme encourages teenagers to know the consequences of premarital sex and makes teens’ abstinence a preparation and pathway to a healthy marriage. This is what the mother should lay emphasis.

What should be the attributes of a mother?

Mothers are sweet, loving, caring from east to west and north to south; mothers are the best, talk about mothers all over the world, she is uncomparable, indescribable. Mother are winners you can’t dispute that; neither can you take that away from her.

A mother can just be somebody that gave birth to you alone, but she has the attitude that you can’t replace. Mothers can go to any length to make sure her wards get the best. There are some out there who do not know what its takes to be a virtous woman; she sacrifices for her family to make sure things are fine; like Yoruba people the world over, our parents are our gods on earth.

If you watch Indian films very well, you should be familiar with with the way kids adore their parents by bowing at their feet. A mother is the one responsible for transporting her kids into this world.

If not for a mother, who can do it? For instance, to see how powerful a woman is, our nation is addressed as her, a mother is multiple positively by giving life. If I should continue to tell you the attributes of a mother, that page of yours will not contain my description of a mother, but I want you to know that not all women are mothers.

Why do you say that not all women are mothers?

I know what I am saying, a lot of women have missed it right from the begining of their lives. They don’t know the joy attached to being a virtuos woman (mother), when I say mother, I mean mother both that have kids and the ones that are still seeking the face of God for the fruit of the womb.

There are some woman who have children but do not value the essence of having these kids God has given to them. Although it is true that the Bible says obey your father and mother so that your days may be long, so many people have misquoted this verse of the Bible. Although it is true that every child born of a woman must honour his or her parents, but some parents are the main couse of the shaky foundation of their wards. These days, so many ladies out there no longer see abortion as a crime.

They kill innocent children, forgetting that the child has life that God his creator values so much; I am not saying they should bring children they can’t cater for into the world, but concerning the children, why in the first place do you have sexual intercouse when you know it is supposed to be for procreation?

And there are some, after giving birth to these children, they will abandon them and run after another man just because of some little financial problem.

We see that you don’t encourage abortion, but what if a teenager happens to get pregnant, how do you think she can care for such a child?

That fault should go to the parent. There is this saying that if a foundation is faulty what can the righteous do? You see, if a child’s foundation is not solid, there is bound to be a lot of mess.

I can tell you that 80 per centof Nigerian parents don’t educate their teenagers on pre-marital sex, it effects and consequences. You see, the children of this generation are totally different from us, due to exposure, civilization and so on. The thing is that most of the time the problems start from peer influence.

Some mothers don’t care to know the kind of friends their children mingle with or what kind of discussions they hold with their friends.

You see, it true that the teenagers can secretive at times, but as a mother you should know the tactics to use on your wards, to get what you want from him or her. Dealing with teenagers need lot of patience. I have see some parents, instead of correcting their children in their homes, they will rather come to the public to correct their wards.

Being a teenager is like another stage of life because some certain things will begin to change in the life of the individual, kind of in between childhood and adulthood. Most times I refer to the teenager as adolescent. The truth is that being an adolescent is tough.

It takes the grace of God to pass through the stage to avoid temptation. Psychologically a lot of things happen at the period. The boy you used to know as your baby is no longer who you think he his. The adolescent stage is work and tough, so my advice for mothers is to be patient and seek advice from more experienced people.

As a mother this is the stage you have to be your ward’s best friend. Educate him or her; most importantly, teach them the way of the Lord and make sure your children are free with you. That is, discussing any issue with you. At first, it might seem impossible but I bet you, if you do the right thing, God will intervene. And I will like this to be at the back of their minds that though your teenage might make a huge mistake, don’t take too long to draw him or her back to you.

Let them know you have forgiven them and that they have time to make amends, because these kids thinking is far dangerous that what you expect. They could take drastic decisions due to neglect from their parents.

How would you advise mothers to handle their teenage children?

I am not a perfect person but I tried my best to guide my teenage children, but it was not easy for me, because the teenage stage can be difficult for one as a mother. At times, you talk to them and you don’t know if what you have said has made any positive impact or not. The truth is I also encourage my children to bring their friends home because I want to make my kind of environment a place in which a child can grow positively, because it plays 40 per cent vital role in in how the child turns out. The quality of a product determines the outcome of the product .

When do you thinks sex education should begin for a child?

Sex education should begin from the day a child reaches puberty, we shouldn’t rely or leave them to what they have been taught in biology. Break it down to their understanding at home; when discussing with your teenage child, make it an interactive section; let your child feel free to ask anything, although you might be surprised when they ask questions because of what they know. Most importantly, mothers should make it a point of duty to buy their teens santaries and let them know there is nothing to be ashamed of.

What advice do you have for mothers with teenage children?

My advise to them is they should know that they are the caretaker for these kids because they are responsible for what God has given them, if you don’t take care of them God will ask you. Also, teenagers should know that what parents see while sitting, a child cannot see it even when standing. Mothers should be prayerful, don’t give up on the kids God has given you. I see a lot of teenage children out who have no home nor who to care about them. They later turn into thugs and prostitutes.

What kind of details should be discussed during sex education with a teenage child?

Parents want teens to be taught that sexual activty should be linked to marriage, while some parents want their teens to be taught that a young person should not engage in sexual intercourse until they have at least, finished secondary school and are in a relationship with someone they feel they would like to marry. These parents’ values are strongly reinforced by abstinence education programme, and believe that sex at an early age, casual sex and sex with many partners are likely to have harmful consequences. We want teens to be taught to avoid these behaviour.

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