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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Daily Chai and Sex Ed

Today's chai latte was a grande and there was a little too much milk compared to the chai but the temperature was perfect. Hot, milky chai just scalding my mouth and throat a wee bit as I sucked that puppy back. 

So now that you know how my chai was I'm going to rant about people who don't want sexual education in the classroom. Sex is just another word for reproduction which is what the human body was built to do (if you choose to use your body to reproduce). The human body was also built with a heart that makes your blood flow, muscles that make you move, eyes that make you see and ears that make you listen. These are all natural functions of the human body, just like sex. There is nothing wrong with teaching children how the human body works, in fact, understanding your body and how it works is essential for a healthy, long life. That includes understanding sex and how sex can affect your health, both mental and physical. 

The changes children endure during puberty are also natural functions of the human body but they can be scary and unnerving if you don't understand what's happening. Some parents just can't talk to their kids about it and I get that. I freaked out a little when my oldest started growing boobs at the age of seven. And, when I told her how babies were made not that long ago (she is 8, for the record, and knew babies grow in mummy's uterus, but how the baby got in there was still a mystery until one fine day...) it was a pretty squirmy and uncomfortable conversation on both sides, I'm not going to lie.  But now she knows and can ask me questions about it. It's up to me to help her get through the emotions and confusion she might feel when she starts going down that path. And I'll tell you, as much as I'd like to take a shotgun to the first guy that touches her, she WILL go down that path one day. Am I going to send her along with no knowledge and watch her crash and burn? No, I'm going to educate her to help her make good choices when she walks it. 

Let's be clear. Teaching children about puberty and sex is not a gateway to promiscuity. I can guarantee you, without even looking at the curriculum, that teachers aren't going to be giving your children tips on how to pick up at the local nightclub. They will be teaching them how their natural bodies function and what to expect over the next several years from puberty. 

Some of you might say, "But wait! They are too young for this knowledge!" Sad to say, studies show that girls are developing breasts and getting their periods much sooner than when we were young. Someone I know recently told me her daughter's classmate got her period at the age of seven. Was she too young to get her period for the first time? Probably, but if she'd been taught at school at the age of six that this is how the human body works and why, she would have been better prepared to deal with it. 

So my point is this, if you are uncomfortable with sex ed in the classroom, get over it and accept that this is a natural process that we all need to know about. Talk to your kids openly and honestly about sex. The classroom is going to teach them the mechanics of all this stuff but it's up to you to prepare them for the emotion that comes with sex. Do you want your son to sleep around, breaking hearts? Do you want your daughter to "give it up" to a boy that tells her she's pretty? Probably not. You know yourself the complexity of a sexual relationship, educate your kids so they are ready to take that on and deal with it with brave and kind hearts. The classroom is only going to tell them how it works, it's up to you to give your child the emotional support to make good choices. 

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