A clinical psychologist has advised parents to be friends with their wards and not to shun discussing sex with them at the adolescent stage.

Nortey Dua said children who get good, reliable information and guidance make the right decision.

However, he added, “Your failure to be good parents and accompany your child through these trials and challenges means that that vacuum can be filled by anything and everyone.”

Speaking on Joy FM’s Home Affairs on Saturday, Mr Dua said sex education affords parent the opportunity to know their children more and helps the children gain some confidence in the values of their parent.

“I tell parents in Africa that we have so many opportunities because our children see a lizard, they see goat been slaughtered or a chicken has been killed and they can ask you, mummy, what is this part?

“That is your biology lesson, free downloaded, that is the time you get to talk to them about these things.”

He said once parents fail to open up, “they will go and get the resource elsewhere.”

“Your child comes to tell you, my friend in class talked about kissing, and you blow up, that’s the end of the story,” he said.

According to him, the child will interpret it to mean that sharing with mummy or daddy does not work, however for parents who open up and show interest, the child tells them more.

“So you got to be in there, don’t define yourself out of there and you will be able to help them,” he stressed.

Sex education is really sexuality education, it’s not just about the act “it teaches you about the value of your body and so many other things, and it is something you need to broach and approach.”

Mr Dua also recommended that parents should not restrict their children from being friends with the opposite sex as it is also important that children explore to learn the lessons of life for themselves.

“So you can’t say don’t talk to the opposite sex, don’t do this, don’t do that because then it means they are missing out on lessons and training,” he said.

Children, Mr Dua further noted, need confident and secure guiding of their parents whom they can always fall back on and discuss anything and everything.

“The next critical thing is your response and how you guide them on this journey of body integrity,” he said stressing they must know who can touch them and where so they report any inappropriate touch.