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Puberty class at Elementary School

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Old 05-13-2008, 01:30 PM   #1
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Default Puberty class at Elementary School

I hope this is ok to dicuss here

My 10 yr old son is in the 5th grade and next week they are going to have a class to discuss the changes that they might be experiencing during puberty. I have to sign a permission slip for him to go, or I can opt out. My son is really naive about sex, and I'm wondering if he should attend this class or not. My main issue is that he has an 8 yr old sister and I'm not ready for her to know about this yet either. Am I just being an overbearing mom? I feel like they grow up so fast, I don't want them thinking about sex already

Anyone been there, done that?

Oh, the boys and girls will be separated for the class, but they will discuss some things that will be going on with the opposite sex.

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Old 05-13-2008, 01:43 PM   #2
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Given that puberty is going to be occurring for some of the kids pretty soon, it seems prudent to me to discuss those bodily changes at that age. That way, the changes won't seem scary for kids, as they can sometimes be if the child doesn't know what to expect.

If it would make you feel better, you might be able to ask the office or school for an outline of the content to be covered. I can see being concerned about them talking about safe sex/sexual activity at that age, but a talk about puberty sounds like a different kind of thing than a talk about sex, even if the same body parts are involved.

That being said, it is a personal choice, and if you're truly uncomfortable with it, feel free to opt out and cover the topic with him personally. The only problem with that, of course, is that if all of his schoolmates went to the class, they'll fill him in on what was discussed anyway, only they might give inaccurate or incomplete information, rather than the (hopefully) accurate information from the teacher.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:14 PM   #3
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Yeah, I agree that you could try to find out what topics they will be covering. I think 8-10 year olds should understand the basic concepts of sex and puberty. Your children may be more naive than most, but I know they hear things from other kids, some things true and some not. It's better for them to be told some true things from an adult (you or a teacher) than only hear partial truths/partial myths from other children.
I also think it would be really embarrasing for your kid to not be allowed to go to this class. I think he would probably hear the other kids talking about what they heard after the class anyway.
You mentioned that you don't want them thinking about sex. Like I said before, hearing a few true things from an adult is better than a lot of things from their friends/TV/etc.
I remember when I was little my mom told me some basic things about sex. I learned more things in elementary school education. It didn't make me preoccupied with sex, but gave some good info. And helped to seperate what was true from some of the things I heard from my friends.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:20 PM   #4
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Another thing to think about is that girls as young as eight or nine can start their periods and begin developing breasts, which can be way more confusing than it already is if they have no idea what is happening to their body. You say you are not ready for your daughter to know about these things, but she might be.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:40 PM   #5
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My mom gave my brother and I, and read to us, and let us talk about a cartoon book explaining "where babies come from." Even so, I didn't know about puberty's changes until almost too late (and scared me a lot more than they had to).

My mom explained menstruation to me the day I brought home the permission slip for the puberty film/class in 4th grade. I was 9 or 10. It wasn't a minute too soon, because I started my period less than a week later (about three days before the film). Even "knowing" didn't prepare me for it. From the very first time, I had very bad cramps and bled heavily. When it happened, even though I "knew" what it was, I was scared that something was wrong with me and I was dying (my mom hadn't told me about cramps). I can't imagine how scared I would have been if I had started bleeding "there," and not known why.

Also, I think it's good for kids to know the "facts," well before their bodies are sending out the hormones that make it sound like fun. A few years of thinking "that's gross," is really good for them, in my opinion.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:49 PM   #6
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Yea, I know they're gonna find out sooner than later.
My friend's daughters both got their periods when they were 9 and 10, so I know it does happen early (I was 12 though).
I was in 7th or 8th grade when we got the sex class, so I guess I was thinking that 5th grade is so young. The world's a different place now though

Thanks everyone for your input.
I think I'll look at the library for a book for kids on where babies come from
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:54 PM   #7
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When I brought home my permission slip in 5th grade (I was 10) I knew nothing about it, and my mom then explained it to me that night, so that I wasn't hit over the head in the middle of class. They did not explain sex to us, though. I think it's a little early for that.

In 6th grade they were going to talk about sex with both boys and girls present, and my mom kept me home from school that day, and explained it to me on her own. How embaressing to learn about that when you're a kid, with the opposite sex sitting right next to you? Anyways, don't be afraid to keep him home from school. The school isn't always right, and they may teach him things you don't agree with!

Although I want to add that when I was 10-12 years old no one in the class was even thinking about sex. We were just being kids!! But that's totally changing now- such a shame!!
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:56 PM   #8
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Mine was in 4th grade, and it was in 1975 or 1976, in a public school in a relatively small town. The puberty class didn't mention sex then, just the changes in a person's body and that some of us might start to find the opposite sex a little more interesting (fat chance, I thought). Also, the girls had a separate class than the boys. The teacher pulled the curtains and the boys got recess during ours (and were trying to peak in the windows). Some of the boys offered girls their lunch money to tell them what the class was about (and were really disappointed with the information).

Even in kindergarten, there were rumors about where babies came from. The funny part was that those of us who really did know were never believed - too far fetched I guess.

I remember even in grade school, kids were interested in and talked about sex - but only in the way we were interested in bugs, poop, strange foods and what judges, priests and nuns wore under their robes, and other weird, gross and secret topics.

I can't imagine how the interests (and rumors) have changed in the last 30 years.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:59 PM   #9
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I have an 8 year old son and would let him participate, but would definitely ask him when he got home if he had any questions and just touch bases with what was covered. I know there are things he's too embarassed to talk to me about but if school just opened the topic, it might be easier for him to bring it up.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:09 PM   #10
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Funny, I just realized I don't remember any of the boys telling us what went on in THEIR class (though I do remember several of us asking).

I don't know if we girls didn't feel the info was worth our lunch money, or if the boys were too shy to tell.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:21 PM   #11
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Honestly, i never understood the hesitancy for kids to know about their bodies. I think a lot of people that were brought up that sex and certain body parts were dirty or taboo end up with a very mixed message about self confidence and self awareness. Whats the big deal about it? Why make sex or "sex parts" of the body so taboo? I talked to my kids from a very early about whatever they asked about. I didnt EVER want them to think anything was "off limits" to ask or talk about. With the internet being available now days, i would MUCH rather them hear it from me or a teacher than from their peers, or their peers older siblings.

Like sunrose said, YOU may not be ready to talk about it but i bet your kids are not nearly as naive as you think they are. I bet if anyone is naive it is you. Kids now days dont live in a bubble with no tv's and no internet and no friends. ;-)
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:23 PM   #12
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My son took the class about a month ago. What he was willing to discuss with me (with a lot of eye rolling) was that the talk was pretty technical about what to expect with puberty. I will be honest with you I think he has learned more about "sex ed" on the back of the school bus. 10 year old boys can be pretty inventive with their insults and most of them know alot more than we give them credit for. If you are nervous, contact the school for more information on the material to be covered. But honestly, I think it will be harder for him socially if he doesn't go to the class. Just look at it as an opportunity to let him know he can ask you ANYTHING and follow up after the class.

Just my opinion - hope it helps.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:29 PM   #13
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I took it in 6th grade (sometime in the very early 70s) but by the time i took it i already had my period... so it was old hat to me.

all my kids took it because by the time they were 8 they knew about sex and bodies and where babies came from.

how else can kids be expected to learn to protect themselves if we don't give them the necessary information.

our bodies are not dirty nor our our bodily functions nor is sex or any of the cool things related to sex.

with my boys grown and out of the house (and yet still both comfortable enough to call and discuss things of a personal nature with me) sex sometimes becomes dinner table conversation with the girl child who at 15 is very very very immature....
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:38 PM   #14
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i think they are at an age where they're bodys are changing, they need to be educated.

i had many friends who were terrified because they started thier period when they were 8 or 9 and thier parents had never told them about.

i also think its important for boys and girls to get a proper education about the changes in their bodys. it helps them to not be ashamed of the changes and learn thats it ok to talk about thier bodys
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:39 PM   #15
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We did that when I was in the 5th grade. (like 13 years ago maybe?) It was interesting..I remember that video like it was yesterday. It was all we could talk about for months. And this was in Catholic school too!!
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