Parents in Wales have kicked off this week about the Welsh Government’s plans to make sex education in schools compulsory for kids aged three to 16.
A group that call themselves Public Child Protection Wales is taking legal action against the plans which mean that parents will no longer be able to remove their child from the sex education lessons.
Lucia Thomas from the group said there was a “progressive, aggressive lobby which is seeking to push onto children and young people ideologies which parents would find inappropriate.”
Well, I don’t know exactly what is involved in these sex education classes and I’d be intrigued to know, but I think the idea of teaching kids about sex and relationships from a young age can only be a good thing. I’m not talking about describing to a preschooler the actual ins and outs (ahem) of sex, but if kids are brought up with less embarrassment and secrecy around the subject surely they’ll be less likely to rebel and go off and find out for themselves later on?
In fact, I recently read an old parenting book that was published in the 1950s and though I didn’t agree with some of the advice in the book, it talked a lot about how parents should talk to children as young as three about where babies come from. It says: ‘The important thing is for the child to get the general idea and not to associate something forbidden with the subject.’
Do you agree or disagree that young children should be taught about sex? Have your say in the comments below.
The book goes onto say that if, by the age of five your child hasn’t asked where babies come from then parents should ‘volunteer the information’. It says: ‘If a child under six is told step by step in a simple way the things he wants to know at the time his curiosity is aroused, he will take the facts of birth with the same unconcern with which he accepts other natural phenomena, such as wind, rain, and sun.’
This is so true! Sex is, let’s face it, one of the most natural things in the world so why would we not talk about it with our children from a young age?
Instead, I feel like the general consensus is to wait until kids start going through puberty to try and sit down and have ‘the chat’ – which could not be more awkward, for the child or the parent! The only sex education I remember from school was being in about year five. The whole class was sat in front of a TV and shown a video where a man and woman were walking about in their home starkers.
It kept freezing and then there would be arrows pointing to all the ‘rude’ body parts. As you can imagine, everyone was in fits of giggles and the (male) teacher was sat at the front cross-legged looking utterly humiliated.
I don’t think we even had any sex education at my secondary school. How mad is that?! I have already started explaining to my three-year-old about periods because I don’t want her to feel embarrassed or confused about it when she starts.
And, as recommended in the book, I have asked them both if they know where babies come from. My three-year-old said “the charity shop at Northpoint” and my two-year-old just gave me a blank expression.
I think we’ll wait a bit longer to go there again. But in all seriousness, this is something I feel quite passionately about and I truly believe that the more we normalise these things the less chance there will be of our children going behind our backs and getting themselves into situations later on.