“My friend told me the story of a woman. She was called Mama Kelechi. Mama Kelechi was pregnant for her second child. One day, she went into the rest room to do ‘major’. When she finished, she cleaned after herself and flushed the toilet. Unknown to her, because her stomach was still big, she passed out the baby that was growing in her belly. And that was how she lost her baby” This was the story my 11-year-old daughter told me a few days ago during our mind, body and soul time otherwise known as Genuine Encounter Moment (GEMs). “You believe that?” I queried. “It’s possible” she responded with an unadulterated innocence. “Babe, see, we do ‘major’ through our anus. Babies do not come out through the anus”, I began to say. “I know!” Interjected her eight-yearold sister. “Babies come out from the stomach”, she said with loads of confidence and a wide grin on her face. “You are right girl, but that isn’t always the case. That happens when a woman is delivered through a surgery process referred to a ‘caesarian section’, I explained. “However, naturally, the virginal is the place though which babies come out from”, I expounded. What??? How can??? The two girls exclaimed in utter disbelief. “Well, that’s part of the miracles of God. When the baby has completed the term in the womb of the mother, the mother most often sees some signs that make her realise that the baby is ready for the next phase of life- living in this world.

The baby is in a quest to come out and at this stage, the mother falls into ‘labour’. “After some time, the baby pushes out through the expanded opening of the virginal and as s/he is out, the opening contracts back. Sometimes, the mother is given a little cut to ease the passage of the baby. The cut is usually sutured back and bingo, a new life is birthed. So dear, the place of passage of the baby and the excreta are separate and your friend’s story may not exactly be as she made it seem to you!” Then, another round of questioning began. In our world of today, we are constantly faced with the persistent battle of how much or little of maturation (sexuality) education children should be exposed to. Some schools of thoughts have advocated making this an integral part of the school curriculum with no holds back! While some argue that access to such ‘adult’ thing will empower the child to make informed choices about his/ her sexuality, others have argued that access to such unrestricted information is robbing children of their innocence and stimulating heightened curiosity to practice what is being taught. Some of the materials I have personally seen for the purpose of this sexuality education as an integral part of the school curriculum are simply x-rated and contain loads of age-inappropriate graphics and information. In the light of it all, I dare say that the home remains the first and best place children need to learn about puberty, maturation and sexuality since it is an integral part of life and living. As young children grow, they have gazillion loads of questions to get answered as a cascade of curiosity is triggered in their minds. It is worrisome when as parents, we do not create a conducive atmosphere to adequately educate the child. The result of this is that the child may turn to peers who may misinform or even corrupt the child.

As parents, we need to man up. We need to be prepared to take the bull by the horn. We need to understand that part of our parenting role is to be guidance counsellors for our children. I know that there’s the tendency to be too busy (or scared) to take the time to talk to our kids about maturation education. We need to break the silence. We must master the art of good conversation with our sprouts. This starts with good communication. It implies openness, determination, straightforwardness and a friendly, nonintimidating atmosphere. So, is your young man beginning to show signs of puberty? Be the first to let him know what to expect and how to handle each turn on the journey. How about your young lady? The era of ‘if a man should touch you, you will get pregnant has long been debunked. Get real. Get practical and most importantly, keep talking to them about the need to keep off stuffs that may lead to sexual temptation. We can raise a more responsible society when each focuses on raising a more responsible family. We can.