Parents should consider instruction of children in mysteries of life a sacred duty — silence is crime

by Minna S Parks, Noted Character Analyst

I doubt if a greater crime is done a child by its parents than that of remaining silent on matters of sex instruction.

Moral guidance cannot begin too early, and the sooner it is begun, the easier this important task becomes. The double standard about which we are beginning to complain so bitterly is implanted in children almost from infancy. Girls are taught restraint; boys indulgence.

The result is often arrested or stunted development in girls and abnormal or over-indulgence in boys as they grow older. Both extremes are deplorable and can be corrected only by a careful, frank education.

Mothers, if your sons don’t have the right attitude toward women when they grow up, it is largely your fault.

It is appalling how many youngsters under 10 years of age are addicted to secret vices, largely because parents rely on natural instinct to carry youth through the danger periods; because no attempt has been made to given personal hygiene instruction.

Fathers should take their boys out on trips to the country where they can be shown the story of reproduction and its sacred character in all nature. These things should not be kept concealed and shrouded in mystery.

Fathers and mothers both should give children instruction in sex hygiene and the proper expression of the sacred life functions. Teach them to know and respect their bodies.

If your own education along these lines is inadequate to properly instruct your children, then by all means equip yourselves at once. In these days of widely scattered knowledge in books dealing with such problems and facts, there is no excuse for parental ignorance and its terrible result.

All such instruction for children should of course be kept on the highest and purest plant and the common, coarse definitions avoided. If the parent’s vocabulary is unable to teach the child the desired lessons, then the parent must acquire an adequate vocabulary.

The most immediate social problem facing civiliatlon is sex hygiene, and the most important service in the fight on vice can be rendered by the parent in the quiet of the home by proper instruction.

More inquiries come to me from anxious parents on this topic than any other subject of child care and development, and I felt that the series I have written for The Day Book would be negligently incomplete unless I reminded parents of this solemn duty.

If you forget everything else I have said, do not fail to remember this: Give your children proper instruction in sex hygiene.

To help parents who are troubled in this respect, the following books may prove of great value: “How to Tell the Story of Life,” Self and Sex Series, by Mary Wood Allen; and a pamphlet issued for seven cents by the Seattle Society of Social and Moral Hygiene, Seattle, Wash., called “How My Uncle, the Doctor, Instructed Me in Sex Matters.” Inquiry at your local library will give you the names of many more. This is a matter of supreme importance if you are to mold your sons and daughters into strong, wholesome, harmonious characters.


About this story

Source publication: The Day Book (Chicago, Ill.)

Source publication date: January 06, 1917

Filed under: 1910s, Culture & lifestyle, Health & medicine, Love & marriage

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