The new guidelines for Ontario’s Sex-Ed Curriculum were released this week. And of course with it – controversy. I understand some parents frustration and concern with it, I’m content with it. Do I really want to think about my son learning about puberty in the classroom in 2 years. Probably not. But my parents had already had “the talk” with me by the time I was that age. And puberty is happening soooo much earlier now, that to me it makes sense.
The “highlights” from it seem to be the following:
Grade 1- learning the names of body parts. Well in our house we’ve done that since they were born.
Grade 3 – discussing healthy relationships which could lead to gender identity and sexual orientation. We’ve discussed this briefly in our house too. Our 4 year old knows that she can marry a boy or a girl. How many teen suicides could have been prevented if gender identity and sexual orientation had been discussed more openly? And discussing healthy relationships – AWESOME. There’s been too much crap in the news about domestic violence – especially involving “role models” such as professional sports players. Now, on the flip side of that discussion I can understand how it could be difficult for a child who has witnessed domestic violence to be learning about it in the classroom.
rade 4: puberty and bullying. I already touched on the puberty part and as for bullying, this is such a hot topic right now that any discussion at any age is a good one.
Grade 5: Alcohol and the reproductive system. I remember having these in grade 6 so I really don’t think that bumping it up by a year is that big of a difference. And there are some kids out there who are being sexually active by grade 6.
Yes I believe that parents should still be the ones to start the discussion with their children. But if parents aren’t going to do it (or do it early enough) then they should be taught these things rather than learning them from their friends or the Internet. The other reason that I dint have an issue with the changes is this: kids don’t always want to listen to their parents, but sometimes hearing it in a classroom setting (especially if they have a teacher they respect or connect with) means they will actually listen and hear what is being said.
I hope that when my children decide to make those decisions, regardless of their age, thatcher are making well informed decisions based on correct information given by an adult. I don’t want them to be getting incorrect information from their friends or the Internet.