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Age-appropriate body-emotion education

28.04.2020 klo 14:33 - Produced by Family Federation of Finland
Age-appropriateness and timeliness are important. Children must be allowed to be children and their development stage and innocence must be appreciated. This means that they are not burdened with adult responsibilities, or with things they do not yet understand, or with things that even scare them. Age-appropriateness also means that the children are provided with the necessary and useful knowledge, skills and attitudes suitable for their age.

“Our children are still so small that not many questions or situations on sexuality have arisen yet. My opinion is that the questions are answered / things are learned when children bring them up, for others it takes place at the age of 3, for others at the age of 6.” (parent’s answer)

Own family knows the children best, and parents are the most natural educators. On the other hand, children express and ask these questions outside of home. Godfathers, grandfathers, grandmothers or the day-care professionals are then answering these questions. Their words and attitudes also convey attitudes to the children.

Small children need knowledge and skills about body function, manners, safety skills and emotions. These things should be taught to small children already. In the case of children under school age, we talk about physical-emotional education.

“Sexual education of children is something that is sure to evoke conversation and emotions. In fact, I believe that children need to be spoken to directly, clearly and age-appropriately, because children are not stupid. And, if the children ask something, it should be answered so that the children do not feel as if they were lying or keeping secrets, or that there was something wrong with asking. There is much need for education, especially nowadays, as there are all kinds of families, customs and cultures.” (parent’s answer)

Author: Parenting Experts, the Family Federation of Finland

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