Time for THAT Lesson

sex education in schools

We’ve been counting down to this week for a while.

Ever since that letter came home asking for parental consent for Flea to participate…. in THAT lesson.

Also known as “Growing and Changing”.

There’s been a lot of sniggering and stupid jokes and inappropriate comments about periods. And I’m not going to lie – 99% of it has come from me. Flea just rolls her eyes and waits for me to grow up.

I have fond memories of my class being taken into the school TV room when I was in my last year of junior school, to watch an episode of “Living and Growing” – I say watching, but I think most of us spent the session staring at our shoes in mute horror.

I’m sort of surprised that schools these days leave this conversation so late. At ten and a half, Flea is among the youngest kids in her year – and I suspect it’s already too late to teach several of them about periods.

More than that, though, I think kids now get this sort of information earlier – don’t they?

Flea’s known the ‘facts of life’ ever since we read Mummy Laid an Egg way back in the day, and long-time readers may remember the sterling parenting I displayed when buying her entirely the wrong gender puberty book last summer – with the added bonus that Flea knows all about periods and boobs, but also has a good working knowledge of wet dreams and chest hair.

Along with my inept parenting, she also learns from TV, YouTube, friends, books…

So her questions these days are about catfishing, what transgender means, and how exactly a mastectomy works…

But there are some things that don’t change no matter how sophisticated your kids are. They’re universal.

For example, the most noteworthy part of sex-ed is who giggled, who made the funniest joke, and – most of all – the HORROR of hearing a teacher potentially use the word “scrotum”.




Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 4th March 2016 / 8:43 pm

    I had to just google catfishing – never heard the term before. I now feel old. I remember watching that video and cannot imagine my kids ever being old enough to watch it themselves – although I know that day will come quicker than I expect. I agree though, schools leave this stuff much too late!

    • Sally
      5th March 2016 / 2:11 pm

      I agree, it’s so important schools cover it because I totally get some parents might not be up for this stuff, but 11 years old is too late in 2016.

  2. 5th March 2016 / 11:46 am

    Had to google catfishing too! I remember the lessons at school but we were in Secondary School, aged 11-12. I beat everyone in the embarrassment department by passing out at the lady giving birth. And here I am a mum of five 🙂
    I’m dreading it with my 10 year old, she’s just too immature, it’s not my fault, it’s her wiring. Her 8 year old sister is more mature.

    • Sally
      5th March 2016 / 2:11 pm

      hahahah! That’s so brilliant that you passed out. Extreme!

  3. 6th March 2016 / 8:25 pm

    We just reread Mummy Laid An Egg tonight, it was the perfect giggly antidote to the Usborne Boys Facts of Life book, which we were reading after the girls one – it goes into quite a lot of depth about the mechanisms of sex, more than the girls one I noticed.

  4. 7th March 2016 / 3:28 pm

    I remember the period talk at primary school and although I was late starting a good few already had and were horrified at what was happening to them. My oldest is 9, one of the youngest in his year and an immature 9 compared to his peers. His little bother is much more mature. However, when asked what the difference between boys and girls were, it was girls have long hair and wear tights, boys don’t. Err…. even though they see their little sister naked all the time. We have a long way to go in discussing this. I think 9 is a good age to make a start discussing periods and sex if not possibly a bit younger. It allows discussion. But, what do I know. They could probably just put a you tube video up on screen and they’d pay more attention.

  5. 22nd March 2016 / 9:06 pm

    I have a teen and totally agree that they leave this kind of talk too late these days. My daughter already knew about it all before ‘the talk’ . I had to laugh when I seen you brought her the wrong puberty book xx

    • Sally
      23rd March 2016 / 11:24 pm

      Yes, it would be nice to be a bit earlier.