Friday, March 27, 2009

Two Things for Boys to Learn Before Entering Middle School

In a conversation with my brother-in-law's wife she told me two things. She is a middle school math teacher in a public school. She said there are two things that all boys should learn before entering middle school.

She said that other boys figure out if the boys know these two things. They specifically seek to find this information out. If the boy does not know these two things they are labeled "through high school graduation" and will be picked on and terrorized until high school is over. She said these are the basis for labeling a boy naive or weak or stupid or gullible or ignorant or sheltered.

They are:

1. All the details of sexual intercourse and sexual male body issues (ejaculation, wet dreams and masturbation).

2. The real deal on Santa Claus.

She went on to tell me that before her son entered middle school (fifth grade in their town) they had a detailed sex talk. She said that the child's readiness is not important, it is more important that the child not be pegged and targeted for their ignorance due to anything under her control. She said since she knows that fact about kids in middle school there was no way she was going to send her son off unprepared. For them the Santa talk happened in fourth grade when he had suspicions and asked about it and she came clean.

I also think the reason she converted over to dressing her son in all Hollister and American Eagle clothing (primarily Hollister) is to avoid any negative stereotyping due to him not wearing the coolest trendy clothes.


Shez said...

that is mind boggling on so many levels. Parents like this are setting their kids up to follow the herd and all that comes with this behavior. I sometimes think that our food allergies are a blessing as my kids have become used to being different at a really early age.

It also makes me happy we homeschool. I've heard horror stories about peer pressure from kids as young as 2nd grade in a school nearby.

audrey said...

The sex talk crops up earlier than middle school. I'm not bothered by discussing it with ds, but using it as a barometer for "acceptability" is pathetic. IMO, a parent falling for that is a little pathetic, too.

And the clothes issue... well, I won't even go there. *roll eyes*

christinemm said...

We take the approach to answer questions as deep as the child feel comfortable. For that reason some details have not come out yet.

I find other times that details we spoke about are forgotten. Such as having to explain my monthly period four times when kids burst into the bathroom, through the closed door. I would have thought they'd have remembered the last time I talked about it.

I couldn't believe the main thing about kids being that cruel to label kids for years based on those things. I didn't know schooled boys were like that.

Jane said...

Is that what our job as parents should be, to make our kids appear "cool"? How about teaching them how to be compassionate human beings and not pick on someone just because they're "nerdy"?

Love 2B Homeschoolers said...

This is such a hard call, having been on the receiving end of all that ridicule because of my ignorance at that age. In 8th grade in my Catholic school so many of my classmates had older siblings and knew so much more than I did. I had a very hard time socially at that age since I wanted so much to be one of the "cool" kids and I rejected the others, because I knew how they were made fun of.

The fact is that many children that age would give up Santa in order to be accepted by their peers; to many children that age, peer interaction is everything. Even now I see my 12yo and the other middle school aged kids in our playgroup segregating themselves to hang out.

And as far as sex is concerned, if my child were to go to school with kids who know all about it, I feel it would be best to tell them all of it myself, not even so he can be "accepted", but for no other reason than to be sure he gets accurate information!

None of this changes the fact that I am saddened by the necessity of having to "mainstream" our children if they want to go to school. But unfortunately, it is a reality. Kids can be brutal, and I'd rather my child be prepared for what socializing with them will be like.

And again, I'd rather all that sex info came from me.

Jennifer Sikora said...

This is the very reason we began homeschooling in the first place. In our area, a sex education class is taught to beginning middle school students (from EVERYTHING like sex, being gay, how to have sex your first time).

My husband and I put on the brakes and said THAT is enough. We prayed asked God what to do, and He said we jumped right in and never looked back.

I can not imagine ever putting my children back into public school EVER!

Thanks for posting this as a reminder to why we love homeschooling.