Parents, especially mothers, are bound to face a lot of challenges as they raise their children. A lot of kids have sexuality curiosity and mental health problems such as anxiety disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as they grow up. You need to understand these issues, what to watch for, and know how to help.
This article will help you as a parent in managing your kid’s mental health and sexual curiosity.
Sexuality curiosity in children
The sexuality curiosity of a child starts between the ages of 4-6 years. It usually includes an interest in sexuality, both their own and that of the opposite sex. He/She may ask where babies come from, and about sexual organs in reproduction. Your child may play with her genitals and show an interest in the genitals of other children as well.
Please note that these are signs of normal sexual curiosity, and punishment or chastisement are likely to foster attitudes of secrecy and shame. The below tips will help you manage the situation when faced with this kind of challenge:
Tips on managing your child sexual curiosity:
- Create an atmosphere that encourages your child to ask questions.
- Answers should be honest and straightforward
- Emphasize that his /her genitals or private parts are not a toy, so should not be played with or fondled.
- Let them know that no person, including close friends and relatives, may touch their private parts, (Exception are doctors and nurses, and their own parents during appropriate caregiving).
- Take your child seriously and give direct answers.
- Help your child learn what’s socially appropriate.
Kids Mental Health:
Mental health disorders in children often start in early childhood and may develop during the teenage years. Watch out for delays or deferrals in developing age-appropriate thinking, social skills, and behaviors. There are warning signs that your child may have a mental health disorder such as frequent headaches, drastic changes in mood, personality or behavior, withdrawal from social interactions, talk about death or suicide, short temper, lack of interest, hopelessness, concentration difficulty, etc.
“According to the Child Mind Institute, mental health disorders are the most common diseases of childhood. It is reported that out of an estimated 74.5 million children in the United States, an estimated 17.1 million have or have had a psychiatric disorder.”
Tips to help your child’s mental health:
- Learn about the illness.
- Consult and share information with their pediatrician to seek further guidance
- Reach out to your child’s teacher, close friends, or other caregivers to see if they’ve noticed changes in your child’s behavior.
- Praise your child’s strengths and abilities
- Tell them the story of the day they were born.
- Find ways to relax and have fun with your child.
- Spend quality time with your child, have conversations and listen to what your child has to say
To help manage your child’s sexual curiosity and mental health illness, you need to be alert and available. Your child might be scared about what the future will bring, but with encouragement and support, he will be able to overcome the conditions.