Sensible sexuality and belonging

john_makumbe_familyOne of the greatest needs of any human being is the need to belong. (Pictured: John Makumbe)

There is a tremendous urge to merge, to be accepted, loved and appreciated. If children do not find this sense of belonging at home, they seek desperately for it elsewhere. Peer pressure affects children without a sense of security most. It is estimated that children from broken homes are 60% more likely to get involved sexually while they are teenagers.

If mom and dad do not provide information on sexual issues and influence the development of attitudes and values, then TV, music, magazines and peers will soon fill the vacuum. Children who have never been loved find it difficult to love. They are exceedingly vulnerable. If someone gives them attention and appears to want them, they accept this as a substitute for real relationship. All too often, they give everything only to face rejection and hurt afterwards.

A young teenage girl who had become pregnant went one day to visit her grandmother. All she said was, Granny, wont you help me? The granny put her arms round her and hugged her. The girl then went home and wrote a letter to her parents: There were times when you said that you understood me, but you dont. There were times I told you my problems and longed for support but you said that you had problems too. You had a responsibility to tell me about sex. I discovered it the wrong way. Life is no longer worth living. Now you will have all the time you need without having to bother about me. Goodbye. Love Susan. And with that, she took her own life. What a tragedy!

To think that this could easily have been avoided had the parents carried out their parental responsibility in a timely fashion. Imagine the guilt that they had to live with after the young girl had killed herself.

Young people are crying out for a sense of belonging and a strong relationship with their parents. Girls especially need a warm relationship with their father. One girl who was pregnant said, My father never hugged me or said that he loved me. She needed to be affirmed, accepted and loved in a healthy and clean relationship with a male. She did not get this from her father, so she went looking for it with someone else and was taken advantage of.

The experience of belonging starts in infancy but continues through the teenage years and beyond. The whole family has an important role to play in developing this sense of belonging. Cultivate the bonds of the natural extended family and of the church family. Grandparents can be especially good at modelling security and affection to the grandchildren.

Unfortunately, the modern urban-based family finds itself deprived of the attention of these good old folks, or they too find it difficult to have even a moment to share with their grandchildren who spend more time gazing at the brain-damaging screen that dominates most of our sitting rooms. A good parent will do their best to control this monster and accord their children quality time for building real relationships.

I have found that my three orphaned, beautiful nieces, whose parents succumbed to illness, treasure those moments that I spend with them one-to-one, a hug and a gentle squeeze that says, You are special, and you are loved.

Do not deprive your children of this wonderful experience, lest they go hunting for it in the world where they may be taken advantage of and hurt deeply.

Post published in: Opinions

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