Matters like safe sex and reproductive health are still a taboo in our society. Though as youngsters we often got curious about it and wanted to know more, most of us didn’t have the guts or get the chance to ask our parents all that we wanted to know. We asked people whether or not they had “the talk” with their parents, and if not, how did they eventually get and understand the crucial information and also how they would someday tackle the subject with their own children.
Riti Subba, Student
I actually asked my mother about how babies were made but as expected she didn’t give me the actual answer. She just mumbled through the whole thing, which I think is what a lot of parents do. They find it uncomfortable to talk about these things. And so, I had to find it out myself which I did in seventh grade in our health education class. By the time I was curious about the matter, I already knew about it thanks to my school. But I suppose it would’ve been nice to hear about matters like safe sex and reproductive health from my parents, who are supposed to be your first teachers. If I ever were to be a parent, I would tell my children about these matters, around the beginning of their teenage years, so that they don’t have to be confused or ashamed of their bodies or emotions.
Roshan Nepal, Teacher
Would you believe that I actually asked my parents about the birds and the bees? But they didn’t give a straightforward answer like I expected them to. They mostly beat around the bush and tried to change the topic. I remember them saying, “you have babies once you get married”. It’s so lame, when I think about it now. So, up until sixth grade, I thought babies just showed up from somewhere once you got married. I later found out about sex and reproduction, informally through my friends and also through school. As sex and reproduction are completely natural processes, I wouldn’t hesitate at all to tell my children (at an age when they can understand, of course) about these things because it’s better that they hear it from their parents rather than from their friends or the internet.
Aagab Pant, Student
My parents never discussed matters of reproductive health with me. Almost everything I eventually came to know was through my friends and the internet. When puberty hit, there were many murmurs and gossips about the matter. We were young, curious and, fortunately, we had enough access. I guess my parents knew that I would find out sooner or later anyway. So they didn’t bother with it. But if my children ever happen to ask me, I’ll be honest. It’s a natural thing, after all. There’s no point being conservative about it. It’s important that they have a healthy and clear perspective on sex. I think all parents should be able to openly talk to their children about it. Consent and safe sex, I believe, aren’t subjects you should shy away from.
Tanuka Rajbhandary, Student
I’ve never been the kind of child who went around asking my parents where babies came from. So they never really had the “talk” with me. When I was growing up, most of the things I knew came out of television shows, movies, and internet. But I got to be honest, I had a cousin who was an information mine when it came to sex. We were pretty close, often talking for hours on end and that way, I learnt quite a lot, you could say. If I ever have children, I’ll definitely have a conversation with them on the subject. In the age of internet when so much information is so readily available, it’s so easy to form a negative impression. Parents should find the right time to approach this issue—not too early but not too late either.
Priza Koirala, Student
When I was young, my parents explained it to me a little vaguely as a natural process that I would understand as I grew up. If they had to explain it a little further, they would tell me parents would be rewarded with babies from gods if they do good deeds throughout their lives. I later found out the truth about it when I studied reproductive health in school. I will definitely have the birds and bees talk with my own children because I think children should learn about this matter from their parents so that they can navigate the world a little more safely. It might be a little awkward for parents to tackle this topic to their children explicitly but I think giving a clear explanation is the best way to go about it.
Upendra Aryal, Journalist
I never really asked my parents about reproductive health blatantly so they never had to explain it to me very clearly either. But I do remember them having different explanations about how babies were made whenever the topic came up. They would sometimes say babies dropped from the sky or that parents would somehow find babies at hospitals. No one really addressed the topic honestly, thus not giving it the gravitas it deserved. In the future, I’ll make sure that I will explain and talk about it with my own children so that they understand it properly. It’s an important issue that has to be discussed within families and communities.