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Old 23rd June 2009, 08:31 AM   #1
Raymond
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School Visit

Hi I thought it might be nice to give some feedback on our visit to schools this spring/summer where you go in and the kids question you on your marriage. The comments are from the kids.

Raymond

Discoveries and surprises
1.That real life people can stay together after an affair; how truthful couples can be to one another.
2.That repairing a marriage is better than walking away from it.
3.Real people – surprises - interesting.
4.That people can survive through bad times and stay together.
5.Well, how faithful they stayed together, after the adultery.
6..I was surprised at the 2nd couple and how they stayed together with what they’d been through.
  1. Disappointments
1.I would liked to have seen a young couple and see what they have been through..
2 Younger couple may have been more appropriate for our age.
3. No [most answered No to this question.]
  1. Differences
1.That it is much better to make the relationship work than to end it.
2.That marriage is a serious thing.
3.If you have a disagreement it is better to make up than leave it.
4.To think more carefully.
5.It has made me realise marriage is not for fun.
6.I learnt that relationships don’t always mean love and marriage.
7. 8.That its much better to make the relationship work than to end it.
  1. Questions and issues remaining
1.I’m still scared if I got married and I had adultery done to me?
2.Do the couples in the end stay together even if one of them died?
3.None,When I want to get married it will happen and I will have to face things.
[mostly left this question blank]
  1. Other comments of the young people
1. It was a good experience hearing from mature married couples.
2 Thank you for giving us the opportunity.
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Old 23rd June 2009, 10:17 AM   #2
Dave
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Re: School Visit

Hi Raymond

That's interesting - how did you come to be in schools with the youngsters asking questions?

Dave
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Old 23rd June 2009, 01:19 PM   #3
Raymond
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Re: School Visit

Through a visiting speaker at house group. It interested me so I went for it. It's a Charity called Explore who arrange for real married couples to go into arranged classes to answer questions about their marriage.

You get about half an hour with a class, usually sixteen year olds. Then you just answer their questions. If you do it creatively it can be quite impacting and faith always comes into it for some reason. They would have been prepared by a facilitator, also from the charity, who asks them about their fears and hopes amongst other things.

They are finding that there are scores of youngsters who don't know what marriage is, having never seen an example of it. It has taken off in Hampshire but is also in about three other counties. The schools are open to it funny enough and the teachers always give good reports of it in the sense of how the children are impacted.

Raymond
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Old 23rd June 2009, 05:16 PM   #4
32hh
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Re: School Visit

Ha what a good idea. We could do with it here, but I suspect the schools are too busy teaching the children about the joys of gay sex to fit something like marriage or relationships into the curriculum! And that's in primary school. God knows what delights await them in secondary! And they wonder why the teenage pregnancy rate is so high, and so many children don't know what marriage is when they are taught from 5 years old everything they could ever want to know about sex, but in no way is the context of relationships brought in, ie only have sex with a partner in a stable loving relationship. They are too busy making sure the children are taught that it is all "natural" and that there is nothing "shameful" about it. A bit more shame and there might be fewer 14 year old girls expecting babies!!!
When I objected to them being taught about gay sex, I was told it was important for them to know about other options than heterosexual partnerships, so that they knew it wasn't wrong if they fancied members of their own sex. My contention that THEY WERE 9 YEARS OLD AND SHOULDN'T BE WORRING ABOUT FANCYING ANYBODY BECAUSE THEY WERE CHILDREN! fell on deaf ears needless to say!
Sorry. Rant over.
32
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Old 23rd June 2009, 05:56 PM   #5
Raymond
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Re: School Visit

I agree with you 100% 32hh. It's an immoral way of going about things.

Although this charity are open to anyone being volunteers, for some reason 100% of the volunteers are christian.

What county are you in?

Raymond
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Old 23rd June 2009, 09:14 PM   #6
32hh
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Re: School Visit

I'm in Scotland, and we have the Scottish Executive to contend with as well as local councils- they are the ones promoting the sex education to riduculous levels. Suspect they probably would not like people talking about marriage in schools because it does not fit the party line.
32
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Old 25th June 2009, 01:20 PM   #7
Raymond
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Re: School Visit

It's the same down here 32hh thats why I was so amazed they were going in. Theres no shortage of opportunities. Underneath all the dogma individuals have their own views. We don't go in to preach. We just answer the questions about our marriage from the kids, but surprising things do happen. Most of them want a stable marriage with children funnily enough. Trouble is a lot don't make it because of the enormous temptations out there and the current beliefs that pervade in the media and elsewhere.

What is happening here is that we are showing them other choices which they can take or not.

Maybe it will spread to Scotland. It seems set to grow.

Raymond
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Old 28th June 2009, 12:16 AM   #8
Ageing Grace
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Re: School Visit

There's quite a strong movement in the UK, to bring back the context of relationships into sex education. I believe it's effective from the next school year (Sept) but can't be bothered to look it up right now ...

FWIW, I'm old enough that the relationship context was highlighted in sex education - I was in the first generation to have sex education - we went straight from lab work on how frogs & flowers reproduce ("and that's about it, children") to sitting in a circle talking about boyfriends and condoms!!

I really think it is important, 32h - even at nine. The curriculum is age-appropriate so, unless you've got some kind of weirdo teacher, they won't be telling your little ones all about how gay sex works "Fancying's" different, though. We all have playground crushes, and kids do bully those who love their same-sex friends the most.
For the past decade, "Gay" has been the most popular playground insult. That doesn't help those who ... well, are.

It's nice that you're getting such positive feedback from your schools, Raymond!
I was reading about the sixteen-year-old mums (and some dads) who go into schools for the sort of exercise you're doing. They said it made the kids they're talking to think twice about whether having a baby's the easy option

Your kids' comments about the age gap were interesting. At 15/16, a 20-year-old seems ancient!! Obviously, you'd be pushed to find a 16-year-old couple with the experience to talk about working through marriage difficulties. But I wonder if there's some way around that? Maybe some teenagers who can talk lucidly about how their parents went through it?
Just an idea.

AG
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Old 28th June 2009, 02:23 PM   #9
32hh
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Re: School Visit

Grace, I don't think teaching 6 year olds about the clitoris is age approprate frankly. I realise you mean well as do the people who dreamed it up, but you don't have kids (I don't think anyway-apologies if I am wrong), so you have never sat around the dinner table with 4 six year old girls discussing their clitorises. It is quite disturbling and very inappropriate I feel- complete with discussing how touching it can feel nice etc. There is no need. There is also the schools refusal to tell parents when this "education" is going to take place, which annoys me though I appreciate that it may be a problem with my daughters school. I have repeated asked that parents are informed exactly when this "lesson" will be held, and that we are informed of exactly what is covered. The schools argument is they are concerned parents would keep children off that day to miss the class. My argument is if you know when it is and what they are being told, you can at least brace yourself for it and discuss what they have been told and clarify any points of confusion (such as the girl who was somehow left with the impression her clitoris might turn into a penis- don't know how she got that impression but she did!!). I still disagree with it, but would rather my daughter heard the initial version from the teacher (or rather the DVD they watch) than getting it secondhand and garbled from classmates. Ideally they would not be told any of this, as I feel it is all part of the general sexualisation of children from far too early an age. And no, whilst so far they have not gone into the mechanics of homosexuality, it is about the only relationship that has been touched on. And also, I know one of the favourite insults is "gay" but so is any other "naughty"word. Telling them what it means only makes them pick on children who have close friendships MORE not less. I do not think and never will think that there is any place in primary schools for sex education.
However, i do agree with the marriage thing in secondary school!
Sorry for the rant, but it does annoy me, and there is always someone who has marvellously reasonable arguments about the absolute necessity of it, but I think children should be children while they can and not be made old before their time by being burdened with unnecessary information, which i feel only adds to unneccessary stress, pressure and worries for them. FWIW, I rant equally long and hard about children with mobiles and little girls in high heels and make up :-)
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Old 29th June 2009, 12:20 PM   #10
Raymond
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Re: School Visit

I tend to agree with you 32hh. I would have been horrified if anyone tried to handle the sex thing with my children at that age. It is really none of their business. It belongs to the parents to do this naturally over time as it comes up.

I know there are parents who don't do it and are shy about it but why should the other parents children suffer because of this? Children are going to learn it in the gutter anyway if parents are not looking after them, like I had to. I think it should be voluntarily in the sense of being up to the parents. Theres something of the nanny state in it.

I reckon it can be done in a practical way but it is very easy to abuse as it is such an important and emotive subject. Thank God my children's school left it to us to do. I have no regrets about it but I do realise what a battle conscientious parents have to go through. All you can do is pray, speak up and battle it where you can 32hh. I think the generations from the sixties have been wrong about so many things in this area and we are reaping the outcome of that.

I also agree that young children should not have this pushed on them. There are always problems when children are taken into the sexual world prematurely instead of being allowed to be children. I know that from bitter experience in my own life.

Most of the children in the schools are very positive AG. The comment about age wasn't mentioned before now and that was only one child. They really do appreciate asking questions about a real marriage.

Raymond
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Old 30th June 2009, 08:44 PM   #11
32hh
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Re: School Visit

I do see why they might have been interested from hearing from a younger couple as well, I remember being 16 and thinking 25 was totally ancient and anyone over 30 might as well have been an alien. The trouble with young couples though, is that by definition they haven't been married very long and therefore cannot explain what a long marriage is like, the difficulties faced and how they can be overcome! Ideally I suppose you need a young couple they can "relate" to and an older one who can tell it how it is. Or maybe you should take in photos of when you were young and first married to remind them that you were not always this age and once you were just like them? Just a thought.
32

Ps Totally agree about the nanny state thing and it not being their place to teach this to my children. But feel my hand are tied other than complaining vociferously all the time about it- like I said, if I remove her from the class she will hear it anyway, but garbled and secondhand. Catch 22
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Old 2nd July 2009, 12:58 PM   #12
Raymond
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Re: School Visit

It is very difficult for you 32hh. I think all you can do is prime them in advance so that they stand up to it and don't get the wrong message. There is a lot of stuff about it if you search the internet. I always taught mine that sex is only meant for marriage. They have not departed from that and they both have kept good principals. One married last august remaining pure but balanced until that day. The other 20 yrs relates well to people but knows the boundaries.

Raymond
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