If a child’s old enough to ask,they’re old enough to know

March 26, 2015

Its a fact that children are acquiring smartphones earlier and increasing their daily screen time, according to new research.Different studies have found children aged between 11 and 19 now own a smartphone, with kids as young as three being given a device.Average screen time amongst 11 to 19 year olds was found to be 3.0 hours per day on average. However, we also know that support for parent to protect their kids as they explore the digital world is growing, majority of parents can agree with me that limits with their kids and schedule online access so they have distraction-free homework periods and internet-free bedtimes is justified.In one study, researchers found parents’ top concern about giving their child a smartphone was unsolicited contact by strangers, with more than half of the parents citing it as a concern, followed by internet scams and the unsupervised access to all kinds of information while others said they were concerned about their kids sexting. What’s a lesbian?”We were at a shopping mall when my then four-year-old daughter stunned me with this question,which seemingly came from nowhere.

I assumed that she’d heard the word in kindergarten, because we didn’t discuss such things in front of children. My mouth gaped open, but no words fell as I searched my brain for how to satisfy his curiosity without giving him an answer. At 4, Contador Harrison, I reasoned, this was something she didn’t need to know.But I didn’t get the chance to respond. “It’s a woman,” I blurted, “who loves another woman.”Those were the words of a female friend of mine who is grappling with the challenges of her smartphone generation daughter.Her husband was simply gobsmacked.I thought, How dare she ask the mother that? “Why are you telling her that, my dear wife?” he yelled at his wife. “she’s only 4 for heaven sake.”The wife answered with usual women matter-of-factness. “When they child is old enough to ask the question,” wife said, “they’re old enough to get the right answer.”In the end, logic won over emotion and both parents concluded that they were right especially after the father who despised baby talk and believed that children should all know the correct terms for the different parts of their anatomy.

Knowing the definition of lesbian was no different in Contador Harrison opinion.The couple’s story was a reminder how how cyber-safety tools designed for parents to set time-of-day limits on calls and mobile web use for kids using a mobile should be widely adopted.Such services should would allow parents to set time-of-day limits on mobile web use, phone calls, block unwanted calls and texts and choose the mobile web content that can be accessed on their kids’ mobile devices.I know mobiles provide an important way for parents to keep in touch with their children and, for kids to gain greater independence. That reality seems to get lost on a lot of parents that “smartphone generation” will grow up one day and have sex like adults do.Many will begin exploring their sexuality a lot sooner than we would like but only fools will think otherwise.Some of them will wait.Whenever they choose to become sexually active, they will need to know the facts. Knowledge, as the saying goes, is power and parents should always have that in mind.And ignorance is not always joyful.So it confounds me that parents in this day and age are up in arms about teaching children the facts about sex and homosexuality.

Even during mesozoic era kids used to learn the names of reproductive human body parts such as vagina, penis, breasts, nipples and testicles to mention but a few.Such information is now available online in both text, video and images. In my generation, we didn’t have Vodka-sipping primary-schoolers who swap bed partners like cards in card-game and engage in sex while subdued.Children aged two years and above often point to these body parts their own, their parents’ or their siblings’ and ask, “What’s that?” Only rattlebrained can tell their kids it’s a secret which they must wait and learn when they’re older.The fact that our “smartphone generation” that “human beings can love people of the same gender and people of another gender.”It really doesn’t scar a young boy psyche to learn that a penis is a penis and not any other such silly term we used to hear from our “Baby boomers parents.”Having such information doesn’t prompt a three year old boy to begin exploring sex.But what I know is that one day he would have sex just like me and you have so far done.Having tools that allows parents and kids to agree proper and safe smartphone behavior isn’t a bad idea and parents can sit down with their kids and discuss how their toddlers can stay happy and safe when using a mobile.

Tools should outline basic ground rules for kids to follow and includes rules for parents but there is no justification for limiting what kids can learn online.Regardless of individual beliefs about sexuality or homosexuality, it is a fact of life.Some kindergartners are now living in homes where there are two mommies or two daddies in the western world and even same is gathering pace in developing world.Those of us who’ve gone to school “understand that during puberty, many people begin to develop sexual and romantic feelings” and “understand that sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to vaginal, oral or anal penetration.”I belong to school of thought that three to ten years olds really need to know the different ways people can have intercourse. We all know that girls as young as 9 are having intercourse and that for many adolescents oral sex is as common as kissing.Smartphone generation and many youngsters don’t consider oral sex and anal sex to even be sex at all.Telling kids to just say “no” to sex never worked when Contador Harrison was growing up and it doesn’t work now and not even in the future.Making good decisions about sex with your kids and having healthy relationships relating to the sexual education defines success in life as much as being a wealthy parent.

Contador Harrison