The ‘My Child is Made for More’ programme aims to equip parents in guiding their children on the issue
Family Life Society programme manager Hershey Regaya giving a presentation titled My Body Is Me on Sept 17.
How do parents share basic truths about sex and sexuality with their children? This was what a two-day programme conducted by the Family Life Society (FLS) sought to tackle.
The “My Child is Made for More” programme was held at Agape Village on Sept 17 and 24 and attended by parents and counsellors.
According to FLS, the overall objective was to equip parents with the knowledge, skills and attitude on how they can guide their children in forming a healthy attitude about sexuality.
“Children these days are bombarded with so much information that could influence their decision-making when it comes to sex,” said FLS executive director Paul Long. “This programme aims to increase the confidence of the parents that would make them a strong influence and source of substantive information about sex and sexuality to their children.”
The programme included sessions conducted by FLS presenters, small group discussions, hands-on activities and role play.
Ms Hershey Regaya, in her presentation titled My Body Is Me, stressed that whatever is done to the most intimate part of the body is also done to the most intimate part of the mind and vice versa. The lesson drawn here is that it is not true that one can do whatever one wants with one’s body so long as no one gets hurt.
Ms Sara Siow, in her presentation titled My Body Communicates, said that the sexual act is a language of a body which already has a fixed or predetermined meaning, which is to express the most intimate and total union of two persons.
She stressed that human beings are not free to change this fixed meaning – in contrast to current thinking which says that sex can be used to satisfy one’s lust, relieve stress, or for emotional security.
Another FLS presenter, Ms Alexandra Li, noted that persons and personal relationships are unique, with dignity and worthy of respect. It follows then that the sexual aspect of the body is personal and intimate, and communicates a personal and intimate union always.
Young people share their concerns and fears about talking to their parents about sex.
Parents can share this truth with their children to counter the modern-day belief that sex can be casual and transactional.
The decision to treat sex as impersonal and as a means to an end is using and abusing the other person and the language of intimacy, participants learned.
In his presentation titled My Decisions Make Me, Mr Christopher Murugasu discussed the following questions with parents: How free are we to make decisions? Does it mean that the more choices we have, the freer and therefore happier we are?
He shared a quote from St John Paul II: “True freedom is to be able to desire and to be able to choose the True and the Good.”
In the last session, Ms Regaya and six young people aged 13-26 gave presentations on parent-child communication.
The youths shared their concerns and fears about talking to their parents about sex. In role plays, they together with facilitators demonstrated to parents how they can talk about sex with their children.
There was also a question-and-answer session where the youths, facilitators and parents engaged in a robust exchange.
Participants said they benefited much from the programme.
“I am more confident now in teaching my children about sexuality,” said Therese, a mother of two.
Vincent, a father of six, shared, “To me, this programme brings out the enduring truths about sex very succinctly and appropriately, and emphasises the need and responsibility for parents to educate their children well in this area.”
He added, “The honest sharing by the teens was the highlight of the workshop.”
The Family Life Society website is www.familylife.sg