Arguably, because of mobile phones, the internet, and social media, nowadays children grow up even more quickly and are exposed to the kind of chatter and images that would have sent teenage me running for cover. Unacceptably high rates of underage pregnancy, sexually-transmitted diseases, broken relationships and domestic violence.I can’t help but think that if children were, as part of their general education, given some help and guidance in the perils, pitfalls and practicalities of relationships, it would perhaps better prepare them for life.
Surely children should be allowed a childhood before they have the grim realities and responsibilities of relationships thrust upon them?
At the age of seven I was enjoying Scooby-Doo cartoons, playing with toy soldiers and cowboy guns, and hoping against hope that Santa Claus would bring me a Raleigh Grifter. Having been a governor in a primary school for several years I am only too aware of the fact that at the age of seven many children are still painfully shy and struggle to communicate and integrate with others.
At no point did anyone sit us down and explain that what is more important than sex is how you treat the other person before, during and afterwards.
Nobody told us that during the course of adolescence we’d all have our hearts broken and our dreams crushed.
Girls were those other people in my class at school. Some don’t play well while others may not be able to read or write as well as many of their peers.