Dialogue key

Save the Children Fiji CEO Iris Low McKenzie. Picture: FT FILE

IN Fiji, sex is still considered taboo because it is a sensitive topic to talk about, especially with children.

However, Save the Children Fiji CEO Iris Low-Mckenzie said it was about time parents and guardians broke the taboo and talked about sex openly with their children.

Ms Low-Mckenzie said Save the Children Fiji believed that education and learning started from home as it was the first school a child could be taught at.

“We need parents and guardians to start talking openly and educating children about sex and relationships,” Ms Low-McKenzie reiterated.

“As soon as children start learning to talk, you can teach them the names of the parts of their body. As soon as they start socialising, you can teach them about respecting other people and talking about their feelings.”

She said talking to children at an early stage helped to lay the foundation for healthy sexuality and relationships later on.

“We cannot be surprised any longer at the growing rates of reported cases of child sexual abuse as this is a reality of Fiji’s ugly underbelly of sexual offences.

“Once we lay the foundation well at home and start talking with our children, we are sure that these advice and teaching will be with them wherever they go and we trust that they will make informed responsible choices and are less likely to take risks with their sexual health.”

Ms Low-Mckenzie said we should invest in family time — to sit and talk to our children.

“We can have age appropriate conversations with our children about sex and relationships. It is never too early and it is never too late to start talking with your child about sex and relationships,” she said.