15-year-old Tarun returned from a party a little before midnight, and charged into the bathroom to relieve himself. "What happened, why the rush?" His mother asked. "Weren't there bathrooms at the party venue?" "Yes, there were three bathrooms, but they were all locked because couples were making out in them," he exclaimed, with irritation. Tarun's mother didn't know whether she should be upset at what youngsters in schools were up to these days, or be relieved that her son wasn't much into such 'extra-curricular activities.'
Some parents prefer to send their children to single sex schools, in order to minimise their contact with the opposite sex, and so, to some extent, prevent their children from indulging in such 'hanky panky.'
First of all, it is important to understand that just by sending your child to an all-girls or all-boys school doesn't stop them from seeking out the opposite sex. You can minimise contact when your child is in school, but you cannot stop your children meeting others through tuitions, extra classes, the neighbourhood, or through friends. If your child meets someone with who she shares chemistry, and if she makes the decision to get physical with such person, there's little a parent can do.
On the other hand, when you send your child to a co-educational school, your child will have exposure to the opposite sex from the outset. As a result, your child will not only feel more comfortable in the company of the opposite sex, but will also be able to handle advances better.
A girl studying in a co-educational school may have ten boys in her class that are interested in going out with her, and may ignore them all, preferring to just hang out with friends. On the other hand, a girl in an all-girl's school will meet fewer boys, and fewer still will show an interest in her. Such interest, since it isn't something run-of-the-mill for her, may cause her to get carried away. However, she may still have a lot of exposure to the other sex, thanks to siblings. In this case, she may be more balanced.
When making the decision of sending your child to a single sex or a co-educational school, don't base the decision on whether you want to minimise or increase your child's exposure to the opposite sex. Instead, consider the reputation of the school, the activities it offers and the quality of education and educators. Certain schools are geared towards sending students abroad for further studies. If you want your child to go abroad, this is something you may consider. Then there are other less traditional schools that focus more on activities and less on academics. If this is something that appeals to you, then give this fact more priority than the student mix. In fact, when deciding what school to send your child to, whether or not it is co-educational should be last on your list of criteria.
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- The Indiaparenting Team