Should non-parenthood be taught in schools?

By Dann Alexander 

My high school’s sex education and health classes were horrendously awkward. The teachers who were made to teach these classes were usually parachuted in from other areas outside of their normal comfort zones. To a group of hormonally-charged junior-high school students, reactions to those discussions were always a mix of laughter and revolt.

I remember distinctly that in each of the three years of junior-high school where I had this class, parenthood was discussed often. Every time parenthood was talked about, it was all about what supposedly can happen leading up to the date of a kid’s entry into the world. It never occurred to me until I was older that not once was the choice of not having children discussed. Nor was there any discussion of the medical reasons why some people could not have children.

I accept that perhaps there was only so much in the curriculum that was allotted for teaching in a class that never lasted the whole year. The idea of telling students that they do not have to have children might have upset some school board administration staff.

These people who worked at management level, constantly seemed to be working in fear of backlash from parents. Parents who took a sometimes overpoweringly monitored perspective of their kids’ education. To some degree, one could understand. If I were a parent, I would want to know what was being taught in schools.

When it comes to health classes, I would certainly be advocating more information about positive personal choices. Teachers in my high school days may very well have had “old-school thinking” when it comes to talking about whether one should have kids or not. It would be interesting to see what some of them think now.

My decision to be childfree was one made at a young age. I was young enough that now looking back, I question and wonder why the choice not to have children was not taught. It never crossed my mind to speak up and voice my opinion. It was embarrassing enough to be called on to answer a potential question guaranteed to draw embarrassment from classmates.

If you took health classes in school, did they talk about the choice not to have kids? If you are childless by choice / childfree, was school helpful in any way? Or was it the complete opposite?

Based just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada, Dann Alexander is the Author of Planned UnParenthood – Creating a Life Without Procreating which is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Twitter @WriterDann

Choice not to have children

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