Is It Already Time For Sex Education?
Is It Too Soon?
Do you think 5th grade is too young to start sexual education?
The Sex Education Meeting
I had just dropped off my 7 year old daughter at a Brownie meeting at the church. I was sitting on the floor of the church hallway with my friend whose daughter was also in the Brownie meeting, when she asked “Hey, what’s up with that Family Living paper the kids brought home today?” I tried to sound calm even though I had lost all ability to breathe. Then I replied with “WHAT?!” See, this was the first I had heard about this ‘thing’. It turns out my friend’s oldest daughter, who is in the same grade as my oldest daughter, brought home a paper that day. The paper announced a parent meeting in January to go over the Family Living class to begin with the new year. I asked my oldest daughter about this paper as soon as I got home – and of course she had no idea what I was talking about. Then I ran to my computer to look on the school’s website for a special announcement concerning the previously mentioned meeting. No information. Ok, perhaps Family Living wasn’t what I thought it was and the paper was only for other classes and not my daughter’s. I felt much better. Then three days later I saw the email:
FAMILY LIVING MEETING for parents of 5th graders (no students please)
Wednesday January 4, 2012 7pm in the GIS Library
-get a preview of the class
-review the power point
-pick up a very helpful book list
If you have any questions, you can reach me best by email at:
Ok, breathe, it will be ok. I made it through 5th grade sex education once before – I can handle it again. Then the questions started popping into my mind.
A Preview of Sex Education
Why do I need a preview of this class? Is it really that different from what I have lived and learned over the course of being an adult? I mean, I DO have children - so I must have remembered something right from my own sexual education class, right? And a PowerPoint?! Just exactly what are they going to show at this meeting? Will I feel comfortable sitting and seeing this presentation with my mom-friends? Will their husbands go too and make it even more uncomfortable? And when the school nurse mentions a reading list does she mean a list of books for me to read or a list of books for my daughter to read? At that point I was starting to panic.
How to Handle the Sex Education Meeting
The day of the meeting I started running through my list of questions again. Once I arrive at the meeting will it be ok to sit with my friend and her husband or should I give them some space? I know all parents react to this class in different ways…and I don’t want to be in the way of a consoling couple. But then again, what if I need consoled and my own spouse isn’t there? I mean, he had to stay home with the kids. He totally wasn't whimping out! Anyways, if I get upset is it ok to ask my friend to hold me? I don’t think she’d mind. Also, should I tell my ex-husband, the father of said fifth grader, about the meeting? I mean, do I really want to sit with him and watch the horrid PowerPoint presentation? Yes, we’ve been there and done that but it was eons ago! And lastly, but most importantly, am I allowed to be the first to raise my hand during the Q&A session? Okay, I admit it. If I have questions it's probably a good thing I'm going to this meeting. I AM a little nervous what my angelic little girl will learn. Thankfully she will be apart from the boys and in a room of girls when she gets all this information mama has been holding back. Oh, Lord - she'll know I've had... I can't go there.
The Family Living/sexual education class meeting was last week and in conclusion I’d like to say that I am glad I went. I learned a lot of things. Some things made me feel better about the class and some things did not. For instance, sex education is now taught in a mixed-gender classroom to teach the students respect for the opposite sex. That doesn’t make me too comfortable. Especially since my daughter’s crush is going to be in the same class! However, I did learn that the class is called Family Living because that’s how it is taught – from the point of view that the child will be starting a family by time he or she becomes intimate with another. No, our children will not lose their innocence to a moment of passion but to a moment of marital bliss. The class will also focus on biological matters such as a female’s body parts and the changes that happen during puberty, a male’s body parts and the changes that happen to them during puberty, how an egg is fertilized and the stages of growth and development of a fetus. Oh, and of course now my daughter will know I’ve lied all these years when she asked “mommy, where do babies come from?”