Just the idea of my toddler children learning about puberty and sex is enough to give me agita for a week. They are so little! But they grow fast and sooner or later (when they are 30), they will want to know these things so they can make educated decisions.
As a parent, my biggest role is making sure they know we can talk. In an ideal world, sex education is a conversation that happens at home first, is followed up on in the school and then continued (for years) at home. Openness is the key to having children who make wise decisions. And one school in Massachusetts believes this so strongly that they hold "puberty night" with their fourth and fifth graders to teach sex with a twist ... mom and dad are there, too.
It is genius.
The fact is, the sex talk is awkward for everyone involved. It is awkward for mom and dad. It is awkward for the child. With a professional leading the discussion, but the parents present, the conversation can continue at home.
Personally, I grew up with a mother who was very open about sex and sexuality. She was a therapist and very good about talking to me about sex. On the other side of my family was my father whose own father (my grandfather) was a relatively well known lawyer who took on major porn cases and defended First Amendment rights. In other words, my family was pretty well-prepared and open about sex. And yet, making it personal was a whole other issue.
No parent is excited to talk to their kids about growing up. It makes most of us a little weepy (OK, maybe that's just me) and the children usually get awkward, but it is so, so, so important to have these discussions and have them young.
I love the idea of getting the parents and the children together. The parents may already understand the fundamentals of the curriculum, but it is the lead-in many parents who are not so open may need to have these important discussions.
Do you like the idea of sex ed with your kids?
Image via James Sarmiento (old account)/Flickr