Last night was 6th grade orientation. I am the first to admit, I am not the most enthusiastic parent when it comes to this type of thing. So, as I glazed over while being regaled with the dress code rules and the fact that “gym class is not a fashion show,” I started looking through a publication that was handed out along with the summary of the evening’s speakers. It’s a sort of a magazine called “Middle School EduGuide: Your roadmap to student success.” It’s put out by the Partnership for Learning with the Michigan Department of Education as a cosponsor. On the back cover is a piece called Help Your Child Avoid Trouble, by Jaime Millard.
Odds: 1-in-10 kids have had sex by age 13. Kids constantly hear about sex through television, music, and video games, but they rarely hear about the bad parts: pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and emotional problems.
Antidote: The biggest factors in stopping teen sex are you and the clock. When you can’t be with your child, make sure he is with another adult. Get your son involved with a program during the after school hours, which is when kids are most likely to have sex. Have your daughter volunteer to teach elementary students.
Have my daughter…. what??? Seriously, was this written in 1950? Don’t get me wrong, I agree that 13 year olds having sex is a problem and my BOTH of my kids are kept good and busy after school with lots of adult supervision, but what’s with the prescribed gender roles? Why weren’t we instructed to have our daughters in after school sports which are proven to raise girls’ self esteem (a great deterrent for early sexual experimentation)? Or in elective programs in science or math or computers? I guess I’m just too much of a femi-nazi.
So, Jaime and the Department of Education have spoken. Madeleine, you will no longer run track, ride horses, play your trumpet, or volunteer your time helping with equine assisted therapy after school. Monday we’ll be signing you up for that sewing class and picking out your finishing school.