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Co-ed classroom an education for this mom

When I heard my daughter wanted to have a boy over to play I rushed out and bought a soccer ball.

I thought it was essential. Surely he wouldn’t find anything interesting in her sea of Barbie dolls and dress-up clothes.

I went to a single-sex school; I never knew any boys other than my little cousins.

The soccer ball sat untouched through the entire play date as they laughed over Barbie dolls and dress-up clothes. It was one of the best play dates my daughter ever had; none of the usual bickering.

Sending my daughter to a co-ed school has been an education, mostly in a pleasant way. First of all, the girls seem to get their fangs first. The little boys stand around sucking their thumbs while the girls tell them what to do and where to go and create exclusive clubs. The boys look on, mostly with bewilderment.

“Mary told Bobby that he shouldn’t have the purple pencil sharpener,” my daughter said. “She snatched it from him when he wasn’t looking. She says only girls can play with purple things.

“And she told him boys aren’t allowed to be hairdressers. I had to give him mine so he wouldn’t be sad.”

I surprised her: “My hairdresser is a male and boys can sharpen their pencils with any colour pencil sharpener they like. So can girls.”

One day she came home and said that she had to “help” Jimmy.

“The big boys stole his hat,” she said. “I had to get it back for him.”

“How did you do that?”

“I just marched up to them and said: ‘Give that back!’ And they did.”

I was a bit worried about these older boys, especially if they were running about stealing people’s hats.

She just shrugged philosophically. “There are some nice boys and some not nice boys.”

That seems to be a healthy viewpoint.