Auntyji says, ‘Koi gall nahin putt, all a part of growing up...let’s discuss and see what we can do – ought to do.’
So beta she is about 12 years old – we can say it is the beginning of her ‘growing up years’, puberty knocking! It’s very normal beta, don’t worry. These are years of self-exploration and duniya ki bhi exploration! She may be getting all sorts of feelings and emotions – all sorts of things happening inside her – so she is trying to find out. It’s ok.
More so, she may be getting all sorts of information, form some reliable and many, not so dependable sources too – she could do with some more balanced gyaan, I would say!
Rights and no so right!
Now comes the bigger issue – should someone talk to her, Yes! Is that you? No! Why so? Well, here it is beta. You are a boy and she is a girl and she is choti and you are her brother – a certain ‘boundary’ of self, of bodily integrity, has to be kept from both sides – yours and hers! Happen whatever may and however concerned you may be – for you to talk to her – about something she’s doing – is not a good idea. It may embarrass her, shame her.
Open up the communication door
But what you can definitely do is – have a general conversation about the birds and the bees – like a life preparedness lesson. Ask her if she has any special friend – koi love- shuv ka chakkar? Any crush? Justin or Zayn? Ask about her friends? What do they talk about when all of them hang out saath saath?
Just open the doors of communication to this issue – assure her she can come and talk to you about anything. Promise her that you will never be angry, or annoyed with her. Talk about growing up and body changes.
Tell her it happened with you too and how you felt – not what you did, please. ‘I am a daily masturbator’ – is no good information to share with anyone, least of all your younger sibling. Normalise everything that can happen during this period.
A word of caution
Do talk about abuse. You can check with her even with some thoughts like – ‘do you know it happens’, ‘It’s totally wrong, don’t let anyone touch your body’, ‘if it ever happens – run to me or mom,’ ‘It’s NOT your fault’....are the sorts of messages you want to give out – coolly and calmly. Offer her links to some great websites which give information on Sexuality Education, comprehensively and clearly. Let her find her way through and get her own answers.
And finally, tell your mom or whoever you feel she loves and trusts. Not about how you found her trying masturbation but tell them to have a detailed chat with her about her body and safety. Definitely, assure her that you trust her and that she can trust you too... you are a ‘team’ after all! Terrific Two!
*To protect the identity, names have been changed. This article was first published on 2018-04-12.