Yes, you’ve come to the right place. Yes, I’m the one with the logo that states My Mom Blogs about Vampires.
But the key word today is MOM.
I blog about parenting. I blog about talking to kids and communications. I blog about uncomfortable situations with kids, and difficult subjects. Today is one of those days.
I’d like to say I’m not an expert in sexual harassment, or other horrible rude things that adults do but I am. Personal experience. Decades of personal experience. I look back in disgust at too many stories from my own life.
As a mother I have told my stories to the children in my life so that they might know how to react if it happened to them.
No child should have to put up with relatives or friends who say rude things to them.
So what do you do if you have to go to a family even and you know Aunt Teetee will be telling your kids stories about your past (true or not, usually not,) or Uncle Puss telling your kids that their chosen college path will only lead to a life of low paying jobs? TALK TO YOUR KIDS before you go. In fact let your kids know that if ANYONE says anything rude or weird to them, no matter what, that they can come to you about it. Not so much to go beat the crap out of the offending adult, but in the weirdest scenarios teach your kid to laugh about it (because we all know Teetee and Puss are fucking crazy anyway) or, in the worst case you, as the parent, can do something about it.
It seems that so much has come out lately in the news, from our own elected officials saying rude things to kids about their parents (for example the children of journalists), to sexual harassment and assault accusations/charges against oh so many in the entertainment industry. To ALL working people. To all students. To people who have been SILENT about horrible things they’ve known about and never spoken up because of fear, or worse because it was not their problem.
Now is the time to have that conversation with your kids. You should have had that conversation years ago.
Need a place to start? I’ve made a handy bulleted list of things you can tell your children (and yourself.)
- Nobody has the right to touch you unless you want them to touch you.
- Nobody has the right to say unwanted comments about your body.
- Nobody has the right to fat shame you.
- Nobody has the right to sexualize you in a work situation (or any other time it is unwanted.)
- Nobody has the right to rape you and use the excuse that it was the way you dressed.
- You have the right to call anyone out who says things that make you uncomfortable, or makes you feel as if you are in danger.
- Nobody has the right to bully you into sex.
- Nobody has the right to bully you.
- Nobody has the right to say bad things to you about your parents.
- You have the right to say NO.
- You have the right to tell another adult if someone makes you uncomfortable.
- You have the right to tell someone if anyone makes unwanted sexual advances or talks dirty to you.
- You have the right to let your voice be heard.
- You have the right to speak up for others.
And the list goes on and on and on.
Don’t be afraid or uncomfortable. As a parent it is YOUR JOB and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to talk to your kids about these thing – open and honestly.
My hope is that the generation of young people today will say STOP the bull shit.
I look at all of the women and even men I’ve known who have been mollested, raped, sexually harassed at work. I think of all of the people who think they can be rude to children. I think about all of the bull shit we’ve had to put up with at the hands of these monsters – for indeed these people are monsters.
It is early, pre-coffee dawn. I am just venting here. But it is a vent that needs to remain open. It is something we should ALL vent about. It is something that we MUST talk to our children, male and female, about. Yes, this isn’t just an issue for women. It is an issue for everyone.
You need to teach your children from an early age what is and what is not acceptable behavior. Using sex as a weapon, or power to get sex, is not an option. It is NEVER an option.
This is the 21st Century. We should have evolved beyond this.
TALK TO YOUR KIDS. I can’t tell you this enough.
LISTEN TO YOUR KIDS.
LOVE YOUR KIDS.
PROTECT YOUR KIDS.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman