BENGALURU: Educating a child on sexuality and teaching them measure to recognise a good and bad touch has today become every parent’s reponsibility. On the occassion of “Global Day of Parents”, City Express talks to city’s renowned parental counsellor Dr Debmita Dutta, who tells us that parents have everything to do with the physical and mental security of their children. She also stated that the staggering number of sexual assault crimes in India could be brought
Does the socioeconomic status of parents matter in being responsible parents?
Yes. In most cases, the socioeconomic status and the level of education of parents play a considerable role. Most of the educated parents can provide their children with a secure environment to grow. But at the same time, when they are not able to spend proper time with their children physically, the status of parents is of no use.
Can a single living parent cope up with the space left by his/her spouse in their parenthood?
Be it estranged or divorced or widowed, the space left by a spouse is huge. However, it is not guaranteed that the child will feel secure if its single living parent decides to remarry and a new parent is introduced in its life. If a single living father or mother can provide sufficient and proper companionship, he or she can still manage the parenthood on their own.
Where do the parents fail to act when their children come under the threats of physical and sexual abuses? What leads to sexual assaults at a domestic level?
The parents fail when they do not educate their children about certain things that are wrong irrespective of who does them. It leads to two major repercussions. First, a potential abuser can identify the gap between the parents and a child. Second, the child doesn’t believe that it has been abused by someone it trusted.
Do parents need to act sensibly in their sexual life in the presence of their children, especially in a house where the family lives under one single roof?
Yes. They do. However, their sexual relationship cannot be agreed as a whole reason for a child being mentally corrupted.
When is a child most vulnerable with its sexuality?
The child is most vulnerable when their parents do not talk about their sexuality when it is in a transition period before its puberty. Subsequently, it is not able to understand what is happening with its body. On the other side, their curiosity is driven only when they learn about their sexuality by unhealthy means like getting access to pornographic materials.
(Dr. Debmitta Dutta is a Bengaluru based psychologist who has been practising for 15 years. She has been actively offering counselling to parents across India personally and online for about five years now.)