Nothing says Merry Christmas like the words Sexual Harassment. Yup. That’s what I’ve been talking about SO MUCH lately on the news. Who’s talked about it with their kids yet? All of us? Some of us? It’s insane, right?! Every. Time. We. Turn. On. The. News. MORE RECKONINGS FOR SEVERE SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
How — and when — do we talk to kids about this touchy topic? (Is that pun too tacky and tasteless? Trying to lighten the mood here.) There’s never a good time yet there’s always a good time… so us parents have just got to jump in and do it. As I like to frequently say, “Use the News” to open these conversations for small kids (in an age appropriate way, of course) and big kids (because we know they see/hear/talk about it anyways). The more fearless we are about addressing it, the less fearful the topic becomes.
For instance, right now I’m on my girls about boundaries with their bodies — how their private parts are private (thank you, Pattie Fitzgerald of Safely Ever After) and how other people’s bodies belong to them. And, when my girls are a bit older, I will tell them about that time I was standing at the office copy machine (in the middle of the entire floor, at my first job) and one of the owner’s sons came up behind me and gave a swift pat on the butt. (?!?!?!!??! That’s right folks.) I was stunned for 1.5 seconds, then turned and looked at him and said assertively, “You can’t do that.” He said, “Yes I can.” I repeated, “No, you can’t,” and then walked away. Never happened again. (Yay me.)
Here’s what we discussed on CBS Los Angeles Morning News:
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