Reception children talking inappropriately

(29 Posts)
Heynonnynonny14 Thu 02-May-19 16:30:01

Posting on behalf of a friend.

Some children at her son's school (all in Reception class) were behaving badly in a literacy task and wrote down the words "bum" and "sex".

We don't feel this is normal for that age group and she is saddened that these terms have already, in a class of four and five year olds, started to be bandied about.

Obviously "bum" on its own is fine. "Sex" as a word or concept doesn't have a place in a reception classroom (as far as I can see) but if the boys in question were actually writing it as "bum sex" then I am horrified. Not from a homophobic stand point before I get shot down, but just from a place of wishing to prolong the innocence of childhood. Or are my feelings outdated and old fashioned? I just don't know what to make of it.

Please share what you think.

OP’s posts: |
sirfredfredgeorge Thu 02-May-19 16:58:10

What innocence is lost by a child knowing that there's a thing called sex, and it similarly taboo to bum. There is a thing called sex, it's part of the act that's required to make babies, would calling a "special cuddle" or other euphemism change the innocence? Or would you suggest that a 5 year old should not be told about where babies come from at all? Perhaps a story of a stork?

A reception child knowing the actual mechanics of sex would be sad, and possibly very worrying depending on how they acquired the information, but knowing of the existence of it and its taboo-ness doesn't worry me at all.

I also think the children writing rude words is entirely normal bad behaviour.

drspouse Thu 02-May-19 17:12:38

Sex is whether you are a boy or a girl.

Charmatt Thu 02-May-19 17:39:25

I doubt they were writing 'bum sex', more likely 'rude' words they had heard their siblings say and 'bum' and 'sex' were just next to each other.

Their phonics lessons are working well!

I would not get hung up about it - kids love a 'rude' word and usually just say or write them because they find them funny - you are adding your own narrative to it!

SnuggyBuggy Thu 02-May-19 17:44:14

Sorry but the term "special cuddle" just makes me hmm

BroomstickOfLove Thu 02-May-19 17:45:03

A reception child knowing the actual mechanics of sex would be sad

I'm pretty sure that both my children and I knew the basics of the actual mechanics of sex at that age, from age-appropriate books and conversations. It wasn't sad at all, and more than the way we knew the mechanics of digestion and blood circulation and how lungs work.

MiniMum97 Thu 02-May-19 17:49:04

They are just repeating things they have heard and know are taboo. They are unlikely to have any understanding of what they mean. This is completely normal in children of this age and even younger.


MiniMum97 Thu 02-May-19 17:50:59

Having said that I had the talk about sex with my mum aged 5 so I did know. She showed me a fab book explaining it all that was completely age appropriate. Think it was called something like "how babies are made". I asked and she told me. All very matter of fact and appropriate. There's nothing wrong with children knowing what sex is.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 02-May-19 17:52:19

BroomstickOfLove I think we may be talking past each other on the term mechanics (much like drspouse is more deliberately only taking one meaning of the word sex) I was using it how it might be described by Alex Comfort, than a biology text book, certainly agree there's nothing odd about the mechanics of sexual reproduction. Would disagree that there's something sad about knowing various techniques to give a pleasurable blow job...

MiniMum97 Thu 02-May-19 17:54:18

This is the book...


Heynonnynonny14 Thu 02-May-19 17:56:32

Perhaps an over reaction on my part then, based on these responses.

I suppose children get knowledge of the word sex before they get any in depth understanding of it.

A difference of opinion but I don't believe the mechanics of sex are age appropriate for children in YR. Happy to disagree on this.

OP’s posts: |
BroomstickOfLove Thu 02-May-19 18:00:01

@MiniMum97 I had that book, too. I was slightly disturbed when I realised that DP note a strong resemblance to the father in that book - I obviously subconsciously had him down as good breeding stock when we started dating.

Twotome Thu 02-May-19 18:00:01

My DS is in reception and I wouldn’t find this appropriate either. 4 and 5 year olds do not need to know about sex. And if the words were written together then I think that is worrying.

MiniMum97 Thu 02-May-19 18:01:18

@BroomstickOfLove 😂😂😂😂😂

Heynonnynonny14 Thu 02-May-19 18:04:16


Glad I was not the only one with this initial response. Happy to take a step back for a better perspective.

OP’s posts: |
Stompythedinosaur Thu 02-May-19 18:55:39

I think giggling about the word bum is pretty standard for reception. Possibly a bit surprising to be writing rude words on their schoolwork.

My kids certainly knew what sex was at that age though. I don't consider that particularly worrying or to have ruined their innocence.

ShawshanksRedemption Thu 02-May-19 20:29:33

Bum wouldn't be an issue, sex would be. I would raise it with my safeguarding leader at school, just so a record could be kept in case anything else came to light in the future. Of course we can all just assume it's silliness, but equally we don't actually know that. There may be background for these kids to be taken into consideration here, and overall the writing of the word sex may be a small indication that something else is going on.

Heynonnynonny14 Thu 02-May-19 20:47:44

I really don't think i am a prude. I really believe timely and appropriate sex ed is fantastic. I still feel uncomfortable with the situation.

For those who say it won't have taken away their innocence, please elaborate. Do you feel children are innocent? What constitues their innocence and what would make it feel sullied to you?

I feel like I am perhaps like a pearl clutching old lady! I assure you I am not ut open to hear other opinions.

OP’s posts: |
drspouse Thu 02-May-19 20:51:38

My DCs (in theory, they probably thought "boring" and forgot all about it) know what the sex act is/is for but would be unlikely to know what it's called beyond "how a man and a lady make a baby"
I would be more likely to tell them "everyone has a sex and that means whether you are a boy or a girl" but I haven't.

Passthecherrycoke Thu 02-May-19 20:55:32

I’m really impressed that reception children can write either of those words! And spell them

SoyDora Thu 02-May-19 20:57:04

My 5 year old knows what sex is, in the context of it making a baby (I had a baby in January). I used an age appropriate book and explanations. How can simple biological facts take away a child’s innocence?

PerspicaciaTick Thu 02-May-19 20:57:42

My DC2 was 3 months old when DC1 started school. Of course DC1 knew where babies came from (age appropriately of course) by the time she started in Reception.
That said I would have been cross with her for taking up lesson time mucking about and writing silly words instead of doing what she had been asked to do by the teacher.

AllPizzasGreatAndSmall Thu 02-May-19 21:04:56

Surely nobody is offended by the word bum? I bought my reception age niece the book 'I need a new bum' for Christmas.
Obviously they shouldn't be writing it on their books/whiteboards during phonics, but I wouldn't be shocked that they know the word. I would also tell the year 6s I work with that they shouldn't use it in their writing, as it is colloquial and not appropriate in their work, but wouldn't bat an eyelid if they use in speech, for example, if they told me they'd fallen and landed on their bum.

Twotome Thu 02-May-19 21:22:53

@AllPizzasGreatAndSmall of course the word bum isn’t offensive. The word sex isn’t offensive either. A 5 year old writing bum sex is highly inappropriate and only on Mumsnet would anyone think different.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 02-May-19 21:46:57

What constitues their innocence and what would make it feel sullied to you?

I can't even comprehend the question, indeed I find the whole concept of innocence deeply odd in this sense. I'll assume you're not talking about guilt, and innocence as a euphemism for virginity is out as obviously knowing about sex wouldn't take that anyway. So you're talking about some notion of purity or simpleness, and those are simply not traits I think of in a kid.

That's not to say I think children aren't pure, just that knowledge of the world is not something removes purity, really it's just kids are kids, people are people.

I'm sorry to say I do think of the notion in prudish terms, not that it says you are a prude of course, just that you have the idea here that knowledge of rude things in a child changes them.

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