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“Those strange men are single biggest threat to my personal safety, as a girl and later as a woman”. Really?? Being a mother of a son I will ensure that my boy doesn’t grow as one of those “strange men”.
You know, all women have at least one story about a creepy guy who followed them, harassed them, touched them inappropriately and made them feel scared and vulnerable BUT every women also have stories about men who were kind to them or who helped them out of a rough situation.And as a responsible citizen and parent it is our duty to ensure that our son falls in the second categories of men.
Their growing up Lessons, and imbibed them.
Love - I know you love your children. No one doubts how you feel. But love, here, isn’t about what the parents feel inside—it’s about how parents act, most of the time, and how children perceive. Without an atmosphere of love and support, parents cannot teach their children anything
Safety has to be two-way lesson – The way we teach our kids about good touch and bad touch it is very important to ensure that we make sure we teach them that it's wrong to do to someone else. Only then they will feel more comfortable exploring the world around them and more likely to exhibit self-control and pro-social behavior.
Model - Kids learn far more from watching and imitating than from listening to lectures. We as parents need to model both good behavior and bad behavior (and its consequences). E.g – how father treat their mother. A father who has a good relationship with the mother of their children is more likely to be involved and spend time with their children. Similarly, a mother who feels affirmed by her children's father and who enjoys the benefits of a happy relationship is more likely to be a better mother. They are more responsive, affectionate, and confident in dealing with their children.
Empathy - Consent and respecting boundaries .We must exhibit lessons in everyday life that we can exercise as an opportunity to strengthen these character traits. It’s about raising compassionate, thoughtful adults.
Accept the natural sexuality and guide them – No more “ they will figure it out on their own" theory please. It’s that path of least involvement that can lead to sexual abuse - especially with siblings & relatives. Sexual curiosity that is not proactively addressed can lead to experimentation with other children that develop into a repetitive, abusive situation.
Teach Sexual Responsibility- As humans, we have something called a “conscience” - we need to teach our children to exercise it when it comes to sex. Consent should not be the absence of the word "no" but rather, asking and hearing the other person say "yes." A person should not simply "judge" by his or her own opinion/assumption that the other person has consented to what is happening. The best practice is to ask and receive confirmation that the other person feels comfortable with what is happening.
Respect - Fathers who treat the mothers of their children with respect and deal with conflict within the relationship in an adult and appropriate manner are more likely to have boys who understand how they are to treat women and who are less likely to act in an aggressive fashion toward females. Girls with involved, respectful fathers see how they should expect men to treat them and are less likely to become involved in violent or unhealthy relationships. In contrast, research has shown that husbands, who display anger, show contempt for, or who stonewall their wives (i.e., "the silent treatment") are more likely to have children who are anxious, withdrawn, or antisocial.
No Moral Policing Please - Regardless of how you feel about short skirts, night outs, getting drunk at house parties etc etc - No girl is ever asking or deserves to be raped. Rapists are not created by a supply of flirtatious young women; rapists create their own demand and will seek victims out, not necessarily by their appearance or behavior, but by their perceived vulnerability.
Last but not the least; Stand Up for what is right - spot true consent, support a rape survivor, and confront others who tell jokes about rape, demean women, or brag about abusing women.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
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