Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Should high schools have something akin to relationship 101 class?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) September 2nd, 2011

When it comes to relationships, it appears to me, many people are clueless. I was young, dumb, and clueless once but I grew up, wised up, and now I can tell fairly quick if it is just going to be a FWB type of arrangement, something long term or longer term, or just some brief thing of convenience. There wasn’t really any older bothers, uncles, father, etc to give any clues so there were definitely mistakes made. Those who had an older crowd to draw from did not seem to fair much better. You have so many people asking, “does he like me”, “If I do this, does that mean I love her?”, “Is it possible to be in love after 2 dates?” etc. Appears many people are left clueless. If they are not getting schooled in the ways of romance in the home, hopefully not TV and the movies, maybe the way they use to have home economics they should have relationship 101. If they taught home economics to give students some household tips, why can’t people learn about romance and courtship? Then they can stop asking those questions because they will know better.

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15 Answers

JessicaRTBH's avatar

I don’t know about high schools but I totally need that class.

Hibernate's avatar

Lol. Sorry.

Haven’t you saw by now that it doesn’t work like this. Every “couple” has their own issues and no two situations are alike. It’s not something you can make a book/manual out and teach them that is the best approach.

my 2 cents

emeraldisles's avatar

yeah that’s a good idea.

smilingheart1's avatar

Health class at school used to have a relationship module. Trudging through the issues of teenhood is difficult now and school is one of the main must go places kids connect with. Whether as part of curriculum or an extra credits learning, the right stuff taught would be of. Benefit.

filmfann's avatar

(still working on a Relationships 69 joke)

marinelife's avatar

I would love to see a whole bunch of other classes first. Like conflict resolution, personal finances, etc.

Also just communication, which would go a long way toward fixing those problem questions you mention in the details.

thebluewaffle's avatar

Stupid idea.

Surely all these ‘young and dumb’ relationships are just basically building blocks so you know how a relationship works.

You’re never going get anything perfect the first time!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@thebluewaffle jeez, “stupid” is a bit harsh.

I think yes and no. It’s a bit distressing to me that this sort of thing should be left up to the school, but at the same time… having been a teenager not too long ago… I’m pretty sure that this isn’t advice that teens would likely take from their parents.
It also seems that we all made the same mistakes in our earliest relationships. I don’t think that obsessing to the point where you are miserable (which many people, especially teens, do) is an essential “building block” to finding a functional relationship.

I think that @marinelife nailed it. Conflict resolution would be a brilliant class, I think I actually did a little cheer when I read that.

thebluewaffle's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I use stupid in the lightest sense…

Everyone needs to go through the ups and downs in regards to relationships. Its what makes us human. I was a complete little shit in my school age, so I definitly wouldn’t have taken any relationship advice off of my parents, let alone my teachers, I mean, they’re the enemy when you’re at school!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I mean some kids aren’t going to take advice from anyone, but I think a course in “conflict resolution” would be just as beneficial in life, if not more, than geometry.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t think a relationship course itself is a good idea. Instead, like others have mentioned, there could be courses that deal with actual life skills such as conflict resolution, finances, and communication. These life skills can be used for many areas, not just romantic relationships, making them more useful than a course focusing just on romantic relationships.

Relationships do tend to be a bit of trial and error as we learn what we like and don’t like in our partners. Sometimes the two people involved in the relationship can grow together with their likes/dislikes, but sometimes they can’t. As we experience different things, we learn how to watch for those things again in the future. Those types of learning can’t be taught in a classroom because they are based on actually experiencing the event and reacting/responding to it. That’s part of life and growing up.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I’ll always be the first to say that our culture does a poor job of training people to have any decent interpersonal skills, but I wonder if schooling is the right avenue, or if it would even work. I tend to agree with the idea that the very setup of schooling itself stunts emotional and interpersonal intelligence, teaching kids rigid authoritarianism and inability to relate to individuals, rather than learning to relate to others on one-on-one levels without imposed hierarchies.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, public school, paid for by the taxpayers, is not the correct place for such a thing. They need to develop that sort of skill by family training. Unfortunately, not every family is the best place for that.

JessicaRTBH's avatar

I had a conflict resolution class in school. It was in elementary school though. I think the interesting thing the OP points out (or I could be wrong) is the loss of romance, and courtship. It just seems to me as if those are things of the past and things are done backwards these days. Although, that’s just my observation and like I said I need the relationship class.

Aethelflaed's avatar

No. I had one of those, and all it taught us was that marriage was the one and only prize (and by marriage, I mean a wedding). This is problematic for a generation who has more and more people questioning the institution of marriage altogether. But it wasn’t about conflict resolution, or figuring out when to stick it out verses when to cut your losses and get on with the one and only life you have. It was about the 4 Cs of diamonds, and if you should have professional photographer or go with disposable cameras for all the guests at the reception.

All of this makes me think: Ok, so we have a relationship class. What do they teach? Do they teach that marriage is what you’re aiming for, or not? Long-term relationships in general? What about homosexuality – is it ok? Polyamory? Do opposites attract, or are homogeneous relationships much more compatible for the long term (or will you be bored off your ass with someone who’s exactly like you)? Are we teaching that marriage is until death, so you should stick it out through the rough parts and go for a stronger bond, or that you only have one life so if this isn’t working out, there’s really no reason to keep wasting your precious time? What about kids – best thing ever to happen to a relationship, or where most relationships go in the crapper? Is romance made of gifts and material goods, and poor folks are just so unromantic, or is it something more spiritual – and if it is more spiritual, how do you define it? What’s the right age at which to get married? How do you change the curriculum about domestic abuse to give people a real, tangible model that they can understand and apply to their everyday life instead of just going “possessive, often physically violent” in an unrealistic manner that each and every abuse victim currently sitting in that class will immediately think “Well, that’s not my situation”?

I guess I just don’t think that we would ever reach an agreement on those issues, and would teach a model that would alienate at least half the class. And that’s not even touching how many of these skills are best learned from a trained professional, not PE teachers adding on another class in a field that isn’t theirs and know little more about the material than what’s in the textbook.

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