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Why is my son not willing to take sex education classes?

Q: My 12 years old son is brilliant, sometimes too smart for his own good. My concern is his fear that comes with topics related to sex and emotions? We received a form from school discussing the start of the human growth and development series in health class. He is so argumentative about taking the course. I would like him to take this because I want to make sure he gets all the information he can get. I am prepared to have a real talk with him concerning needs of both women and men and not to be as mis-informed as I was. I know it’s embarrassing for a 12-year-old but, why such a fight when all his friends really don't have an issue about it? He is very guarded with his feelings and I don't want this to be a sign of maybe a bigger emotional problem?

A:All children are not alike, so his being a little different from others is not a worry. I am glad that the school is taking the initiative to give them health education and education about the human body. It is quite possible that someone in his class said something about the new course that makes your son hesitant. I think the school should just give the instruction in human growth and development to all the children of the class, rather than make it a matter of choice. If he is a bit quiet or even unwilling to have the subject of sex broached directly, it is not at all a sign of an emotional problem. Some children are shy and will grow up to be OK. However since you say that he is guarded with his feelings, give him a chance to express his feelings. He could have story reading or drama, music where he would come upon different emotional expressions. Do all this gradually, not like a campaign. Your opening sentence conveys a subtle disapproval of your son if he varies even a centimetre from your idea of what he should be like. Relax! Let him grow up at his pace and give him guidance when he reaches out for it.

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