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I got a permission slip today from my ten year old son who is in fifth grade that they are going to show the puberty video to them first week in April. He attends public school now. Anyway, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I don't have the perspective of a guy and he is a boy, but I still feel it is the parent's job and not the public schools to educate the child on these matters. The way the school does it is they put the girls in one room with a female teacher and nurse and the boys in another room with a male teacher and nurse. I imagine it is strictly related to the changes in the body and not the moral aspects that go along with those changes since they are just fifth graders.
I wondered the same thing. I think I'll call the school or email the teacher to ask. I kind of don't see how they would lend it out to parents when they won't want anything to happen to it and will need to show it, but I can ask. I was thinking of doing just that.
I imagine it is strictly related to the changes in the body and not the moral aspects that go along with those changes since they are just fifth graders.
I wouldn't assume anything. In a public school, you never know. Maybe you can go to the school and preview the video without having to take it home. I would also ask the teachers exactly what will be said, if anything, before or after the video. Will there be time for Q&A by the kids? If a kid brings up a "controversial" topic such as homosexuality or birth control, will the teacher answer in front of the class?
I know it's a difficult situation because on the one hand, you want to make sure your child isn't taught secular non-sense, but on the other, how would he feel if he is the only one in the class whose parents didn't allow him to participate?
I was more picturing a Parents Night at the school where they previewed the video to moms & dads before it was shown to the kids. My son's grade school did that before they showed a video to the 7th or 8th graders (don't recall which year that happened). And this was a Catholic grade school. Sad thing was, only 2 other parents besides myself showed up. ...Maybe the other parents trusted the video, based on it being a Catholic school. I hope it wasn't that the others didn't care.
Lisa, you said something about what if Cheryl's child were the only one not to see the video, & how he would feel. My take on that is, it's a Catholic parent's duty to reinforce in our children that we Catholics are to be different from what 'everyone else' is doing or thinking. Yes, it may be very difficult not to follow the crowd, but God gives us strength to do the right thing, to endure. The world's ways are one direction, and God's Ways are usually another. I'd work at finding the right words to slant his exclusion as something positive and loving and Godly.
Here is an idea: Our hospital has this" girl to woman class and "boy to man class" that lasts for about 1.5 hours for parents and children.
Maybe, you can find out if there is something like that in your hospital and go to that one first, together with your son.
Then, try to find out if you can talk to one mom who saw this video last year ?
He might hear the other kids talking about what they learned, and come home and tell mom, who could provide her own explanations.
I apologize for chiming in when I'm not a parent.
I've gone to Catholic schools my whole life. I did find out where babies come from thanks to school. A 10 year old school friend, that is. She was smart and mature for age 10 and I'm grateful to her. She didn't get very graphic but her information was accurate. I found out about menstruation from Judy Blume books (maybe at age 11).... Zero guidance, little to no information from school or Catholic parents. I really don't think that was healthy. Or wise.
I would have jumped at the chance to watch this video back in the day, just for my own knowledge. If my mother was watching it with me, that would have been okay too.
I’m a fifth grade teacher who teaches this kind of class, and I highly encourage you to read & view all of the information that will be presented. Ask your son's teacher where you can view the video(s). Here are some suggestions: school library, nurse's office, faculty lounge, a storage room; find a place. It's your parental right to know what is being discussed and taught in your child's classroom. Faculty and staff appreciate parents who are involved with their child’s learning.
Please broach the tough questions and scenarios with the teacher and nurse. 1) Will intercourse be discussed? 2) How is sexual arousal explained? 3) What will be the teacher’s response when a child will ask about birth control? 4) Will all children receive the same information about the male and female reproduction system? 5) Are there parent/child discussion questions/topics that support what’s being discussed in class? If not, ask why this component is absent.
Children have questions and comments about these topics regardless if they are in a Catholic or public school. Personally, I find that most fifth-graders are not emotionally mature to receive detailed information about human reproduction. However, many of our children are entering puberty at a younger age, and they hear distorted information about human anatomy and physiology, so they need to be properly (and respectfully) informed.
If it is for your son’s best interest for him not to participate in the class, ask what your son will be doing during that time. If your work will allow for this, see if you can teach him separately during the same time his peers are receiving the information. Talk with the other fifth grade parents. What are their thoughts about this curriculum, and what are their plans for their child? Visit with some of the other parents whose children have gone through the program. Hear what they have to say about it. If you find that it is best to take your son out of this program, make it a special day for you and your son. Do something that he’ll remember for the rest of his life, and then, when you know he’s ready, provide the correct information for him. There are many teachable moments for instilling faith and morals when it comes to the facts of life.
If you believe that your son is ready for this information because you have shared or answered some of his questions, this is good. Follow your intuition as to what you believe is best for your son. You are his mother and parents know what is best for their child. Hopefully you and your child will have a lovely, respectful, relaxed, open door of communication on this topic. This openness will continue to set the stage for trust and mutual respect between you and your son. There are many great programs and books out there. If you have further questions or concerns, please message me. I am happy to help.
So what? Great lesson that going along with the crowd isn't always required and sometimes isn't wise.
I'm not saying that a parent should put her child in a class like this just because he'll feel excluded otherwise, I'm just saying it's one of the issues to keep in mind.