- I was very interested to hear the government is bringing in sex education for primary school kids.
At first, I thought “OMG, I have a four year old, I don’t want her to know about that just yet, thank you very much!”
(Reading more about it, though, it’s obviously not going to be full on sex ed at four, just more about relationships through books and classroom discussions.)
But then this is a crazy world in 2017.
Young children have mobile phones and tablets where online predators are lurking, they’re swapping naked selfies, there’s social media pressure… it’s certainly a world away from the 1980s when I was growing up.
Online grooming, in particular, petrifies me. The thought that someone could message or text my girls, with the sole purpose of luring them into meeting and abusing them physically is horrific.
We don’t live far away from where teen Kayleigh Haywood was raped and murdered. Her attacker groomed her for just a couple of weeks through Facebook, without her parents knowing a thing, so this is a real threat. I think any class or education that can help protect our kids online has to be welcomed with open arms.
I am also hopeful that there will be discussion about same sex relationships because, folks, it’s absolutely, totally normal for a man to love a man and a woman to love a woman and that some people love both men and women. Along with racism and hatred/misunderstanding of different cultures, I cannot stand homophobia and I believe this needs to be taught by families and schools so we can live in hope of a more harmonious world.
As for teaching children about body parts and awareness of what they can do… Well, we are generally a bit prudish in the UK. We don’t like to talk about sex and we don’t like the thought of our children or parents doing it. I’m including myself here, I dread to think of the day I talk to the girls about periods and sex!
But in this day and age, where sex is everywhere – music videos, lyrics of songs, photos in magazines and newspapers – we need to start thinking about this in a different, straight forward, mature way.
By ignoring it, by pretending your kids aren’t going to be tempted to send naked photos to their friend, by thinking they would definitely tell you if someone has touched them where they shouldn’t, we are shoving our heads in the sand.
I’m not saying we should collect our kids from school right now and let them watch 50 Shades of Grey or flick through the Ann Summers brochure, while telling them where that bit of daddy’s body goes, but I do think it would be amazing to teach them about healthy relationships and encourage them to be open about sexual stuff.
In order to protect our little ones, we need to empower them by giving them the information they need.