So this morning I’m putting my son’s lunch in his bag and see a notice from his teacher in his agenda that they will be talking about “Growth and Development” during the last three days of school. This means that he will learn:
- The basic changes in growth and development of humans from birth to childhood.
- The basic human reproductive process involving the union of egg and sperm.
- What the word gay means and ways it should be used appropriately and ways to avoid using it inappropriately.
I have to admit – I was shocked. First of all, other than this sheet, I was given zero warning that this was even happening. And the last three days of school? Seriously ridiculous. I would have liked to have known ahead of time because I would have shared this with my son myself. I think it’s my job to teach my son about his body and sex and what gay means – at the very least, give me the opportunity to choose when to do so.
I explained to him that this was what he was going to learn at school. I’ll be honest, he is a sweet, innocent and naive eight year old boy when it comes to most things other than video games and Lego. And I’m okay with that – because he’s EIGHT. I just don’t get the rush to force our kids to grow up faster than they’re ready to. If he had approached me and asked about sex, I would have wholeheartedly had that conversation with him, no matter how hard it was for me (because omg, he’s EIGHT). But he hasn’t, and I feel it’s wrong to force him to grow up faster than he’s ready to, simply because the government deems this is the time to get on it (no pun intended).
I understand that I might be in the minority here, and that’s ok with me.
I’m ok with admitting that I’m not that mom that waves my son off as he goes off and plays with his friends at the park and comes home for dinner. My helicopter flies way too low for that sort of thing. Playdates are only at friend’s homes where I know the moms very well and trust them implicitly. Sleepovers at anyone’s house other than cousins? Never going to happen. So, I don’t even understand where kids would have the opportunity to have sex when they’re in public school. Clearly, my very strict upbringing has carried over to me because I can’t even fathom such a thing. Compared to today’s trends, I was ancient when I first had sex and thank God for that because I can’t even imagine having to deal with the aftermath at 12 or 13. I’ve heard the argument that introducing them to sex this early might make them want to have sex earlier – not sure I believe that, but I think learning about sex and love and what it all means should start at home, not at school. But at EIGHT?? Excuse me while my head explodes.
I didn’t come from a home where we discussed anything involving sex or our bodies, ever. I was raised by old school, Greek immigrant parents where school and work ethic were what mattered most. It didn’t even occur to us to broach the topic with our parents and for me personally, I didn’t know a thing until we heard about it in Grade 9. I can’t speak for my siblings, but I was fine with it. I had zero interest in having sex although my Duran Duran posters sure got a lot of lip action back then. Of course, now that I have kids, I can understand that being open to questions is really important. I’ve told my eight year old son repeatedly that he can ask me anything, anytime with no judgement.
I’m now preparing myself for 3:30 p.m. today when I pick up my eight year old son that will be full of questions and a little less innocent. If I’m totally honest, I’m a little bit heartbroken over it. I guess that’s an odd way to feel, and like I said, I can understand being in the minority here, but it’s honestly how I feel. I suppose when my daughter gets to this point, I will need to be heavily medicated.
I should also mention that I did get the chance to quickly explain what “gay” meant. His response? “It’s nice to be loved.”
My sweet boy.