Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sex Education

I don't have a child in public school at this point in my life. Like I did with J, I'd most likely home school. Although I know several public school teachers who are great and obviously love their jobs, I have entirely too many reasons I don't want that path for my children. I'm not knocking all teachers nor do I have a problem with all schools, just school in general. But that's another blog post entirely.

Today I happened to be scanning my Facebook page and noticed this.  I just about choked when I read it. I don't want to add a picture because of the nature of the article. I know sometimes younger kids buzz around when Mom is online and I believe that sex is something that should be taught about at home, when the parents think the child is ready. This article shows a poster that was placed in a middle school, describing things that people do to show they care for one another. It includes hugging, kissing, touching and sexual acts. 

The parent who saw this thought surely this had to be a prank, but no. The school board was quite pleased to have that as part of their curriculum for sex education. 

If I am to be labeled "out of it", a prude, old fashioned, not realistic in my views, so be it. If my child attended that school and I saw that poster, my child would be withdrawn immediately. It's inappropriate.

I believe that children should be taught about sex--in an age appropriate manner. I do not believe that a 13 year old is ready mentally or emotionally for a sexual relationship. Instead of giving teens and pre teens the green light to go ahead and play with something that can be very dangerous, how about teaching them that they can and should respect themselves and those they care about (girlfriend or boyfriend) enough to wait. The reasons for waiting are myriad. The pleasure they may get from casual sex is all too brief and can come with some very serious consequences:STDs, heartbreak, pregnancy to name a few. And I won't even open the can of worms called teen pregnancy. That's for another time.

I once knew someone who thought that sex was great and should be available for anyone, regardless of age. Sex is indeed great, in the right context. I also believe that guns and cars are great tools and are useful for many people. But I would never dare to put either in the hands of a child who does not understand that both of those tools can cause great harm and that there are no do overs when someone dies because you played around. Most people would agree that children need to be taught to use a weapon or an automobile with respect and care. Why then, would we think it okay to encourage reckless use of sex? Teenagers and younger kids do not have the maturity to handle it properly. 

Young people are not stupid. They do make mistakes and wrong choices, however. Instead of giving in and allowing it to happen, teach them what they need to know. Teach them that they need to take responsibility for their actions. This includes financial responsibility.  Encourage them to participate in sports and other activities. Keep their minds and their bodies busy. Trust them yes, because you can't be with them every minute of the day. Keep the lines of communication open. Don't just decide oh well, they're going to do it anyway and then blindly hand them the keys.