The Puberty Discussion

by Paula on April 25, 2012

My children go to a very modern school.  The school photos are the kind with hula hoops and ‘cool’ poses that Tara Cain detests, and they communicate almost exclusively by email.

Most of the 20 or so emails I receive a week are about head lice (seriously people, get a Nitty Gritty* already) but yesterday’s sent a cold little shiver down my spine:

 

“Dear Parents

Year 5 Puberty Discussion

As part of the Year 5 PSHE and Science curriculum, the children will receive a talk from the school nurse regarding ‘puberty and adolescent issues including relationships’. This talk will take place on the morning of Friday 4th May.

The session will include a DVD screening about ‘puberty and body changes’ which girls and boys will view together. Following the whole class session the girls and boys will then separate for puberty talks particular to them. This will give the children the opportunity to ask any questions they may have in confidence.

If you would like to view the material being shown to your child before they attend the session, there will be a parent screening of the DVD on Tuesday 1st May at 5pm. If you would like to withdraw your child from the session, please use the reply slip below.”

 

What?! Puberty discussion? Oh god, oh god, oh god.

Okay *calm face*, the Boy Wonder is 10.  It’s not inappropriate to talk to him about puberty.  I’ve already talked to him about the fact that touching himself when we’re watching TV is off-putting and can he please do ‘that’ in another room. I’ve bought him deodorant.  I’ve explained that there are changes afoot, and lord knows I’m riding the pre-teen hormonal wave. But an official talk at school?!

After pick up, in the official ‘safe zone’ that is the car (no eye contact), I told the 10yo what was coming. He shuffled uncomfortably in his seat, made me confirm exactly what day the talk is going to be on, and gave me the sucked lemon face when I told him I’d be on hand for any questions afterwards.

Who was it that was telling me that the primary years were a breeze compared to the teens? Okay, I get it now…… Help!

 

*This is NOT a sponsored post!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Gappy April 25, 2012 at 8:08 am

I gave my son a couple of books explaining puberty and stuff when he was about ten. I kind of liked the idea of him being able to read about it in private – it seemed less embarrassing for him, and he knew he could ask any questions if he wanted to. He was fine about it. The bloke in the book shops face when I asked if he had any books about sex and relationships was an absolute picture though. Even his ears went red!

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Paula April 25, 2012 at 8:48 am

I offered mine a book – he made the sucked lemon face again and said “Why would I want to READ about puberty?!” I think I might get a couple jic, and scatter them strategically…

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Claire April 30, 2012 at 7:18 am

Really feel for him… And you! The car is definitely the place for such conversations!

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Paula April 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Thanks Claire – it’s got more hilarious since then but for the sake of his modesty I probably won’t do a follow-up. Probably….

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Victoria April 25, 2012 at 8:12 am

Our school did THAT talk last year while we were away. So my 10yo heard the gory details at a sleepover soon after our return. Next year they get a *whispers* sex talk. Ye gods. I’ve bought an Usborne book called ‘what’s happening to me’ I think, which is actually really good. Short and to the point. At least girls don’t fiddle with themselves infront of the TV. Did I ever tell you about my 5yo’s obsession with Fireman Sam…

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Paula April 25, 2012 at 8:50 am

Ah yes, this is the prep for the Yr6 talk – obviously you London types are more advanced. I’ll look for the Usborne book, and might think about writing my own that serves my own ends, eg “When you’re feeling angry, instead of shouting at your mother and bullying your sisters, take yourself away somewhere quiet and chillax”. That kind of thing.

And Fireman Sam? That’s another euphemism isn’t it? *sucked lemon face*

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Lakes Single Mum May 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm

If you can’t find it anywhere else I sell the book! http://www.usborneonline.org/catalogue/browse.asp?org=wil28786&css=1&cat=1&subject=S&subcat=SFL&id=2195
Not looking forward to those talks with my son, hope I’ll be OK with my daughter but apart from saying “we don’t touch ourselves in public” no idea about boys so will be getting the book myself ;)

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jfb57 April 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Bless you! Does it help to know that teachers would prefer not to have to hold the talks too? ;)

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Paula April 28, 2012 at 11:13 am

I’m sure that’s the case! And more so with the sex ed…. Part of the issue for me is the anxiety that can follow, as of now he’ll be looking for signs of something that may not happen for another 3 years, and then it gets competitive and blah blah blah! *sigh*

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Jessica May 3, 2012 at 10:06 am

My boys started asking ‘how do you make babies?’ kind of questions when they were about 8 and 10. We asked them if they wanted the ‘stork brings them’ version or the ‘nitty gritty’ the nicest possible ‘little seed / mummy’s egg’ way. They went for the latter. The OH and I tried explaining it all to them in a frank but ‘it’s no big deal’ kind of way . Until, I got embarrassed (not them) and left the room on the pretext of something like needing the toilet. It was a little while later I heard the boys exclaim: “Eurch! That’s disgusting!”

My sister gave me a book about puberty aimed at boys. I meant to read it myself as a responsible parent before they got their hands on it but I never have. My eldest is dyslexic, so I’m never sure what went in, but he read it cover to cover and it seemed to amuse him My youngest (now 11) asks me, very openly questions about sex and puberty. It helps that they feel they can talk about it as it is much easier to reassure them if they have concerns.

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