As single father, how do I discuss sexuality with teenage daughter?
Posted Sunday, December 30 2012 at 20:00
- Dilemma: Two men are in a state of confusion. One does not know how to explain sexuality to his teenage daughter, and the other suffers at the hands of a girlfirend who seems more interested in material gain than love
Thank you for your weekly column. I am a single father of three beautiful girls. We live in Mombasa. The girls are generally well behaved, but I find myself increasingly getting worried about the oldest.
She just turned 19. I enrolled her in a college in June and she started spending a lot of time with friends — both boys and girls — at shopping malls after college. She says they are her class mates.
Well, as much as she has not particularly done anything wrong, I fear that she just might out of peer pressure, given her age.
What would be the best way of guiding a girl this age so that she does not go wrong? I am not comfortable discussing sex with her, and I fear that it might just raise her curiosity.
From the onset, congratulations are in order for raising a fine girl to college level.
Now, if I may shock you; your girl already knows about sex and sexuality more than you think she does. Sadly, this education has come from sources other than you. I would have preferred that this education come from you. Remember that if we bring up children in the way they should go, they will not depart from such a way.
Children learn from many sources, including peers, school, media (television, videos, radio, movies, magazines, social media, and Internet), parents, and spiritual mentors.
I am afraid that your fear to teach is giving all these other sources the sole responsibility to shape the future of your child.
At 19, your daughter is not too young to be taught about sexuality. She needs to hear from you as the parent. You must invest in this. There are also many relevant books out there that you can buy and give her to read.
Your daughter will gain more positively from your teaching on sexuality as her father than if she listened to many other voices out there. You are the man she trusts.
There are several issues that lead to the failure of parents to discuss sexuality with their teenage children. First is culture. Some cultures consider it improper for fathers to talk about sexuality with their girls and mothers to boys. I think such teachings are a joint responsibility.
Second is ignorance. This has to do with lack of awareness concerning our part in the education and influence over a child’s life.
Third is fear. We fear the unknown. But fear does not tell us what will become of our children if we abscond our God-given duty.
Her actions make me feel cheated, betrayed, suicidal