I usually try to keep my posts light and lean on the side of funny. However, I really feel compelled to broach this subject. Unless you have been living under a rock… which sometimes seems VERY tempting… you can’t escape what is happening in our world today in regards to sexual inappropriateness, harassment, misconduct, etc.
Every day it seems someone new is being accused of horrible acts towards women. While we usually just hear about the ones in Hollywood or the political world, this happens in all walks of life, industries, and to people up and down the economic ladder.
Like many occurrences in life, I try and look for a “teaching” moment for my children.
I often times use events to teach our daughters to respect themselves and to teach them not let ANYONE, man or woman, make them feel like they are ever forced to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or violated.
We tell our daughters to trust their instincts… if something doesn’t feel safe or right, it probably isn’t.
I have been thinking a lot lately, what about our boys?
We want to teach them the same things, as we know that males can be on the receiving end of sexual harassment, assault, and inappropriateness too. But we also need to teach them how to be respectful gentlemen. I’m not just talking good manners like opening doors and pulling out chairs but teaching them RESPECT for girls. Respect for their feelings. Respect for their bodies. Respect for their boundaries.
It’s our job as parents to educate our children on how they should be treated and how they should treat others.
My eleven year old daughter is rapidly approaching times where she will have more independence and make decisions on her own. I want her to have the confidence to know she has the right to set her own boundaries and should always command respect for them. I want the same things for my son. I also feel it is equally important to teach them to respect others and their boundaries.
I know these conversations can be uncomfortable to have and you know your kids better than anyone… you will know the right time to tackle this. I survived it before with our older two, and trust me, you will, too!