“I can’t stop watching,” said the woman at the beauty salon regarding the recent Supreme Court nominee hearing. “I have two daughters.”
“Yes,” I said. “I have three sons and four daughters. I can’t watch. It upsets me on too many levels.”
“This is an important lesson for the country,” she said.
She hit the nail on the head. We, the moms of the world, our children’s first teachers, need to jump into this fray within our homes. Our families have a lot on the line – our daughters and our sons.
So let’s start talking – no, not about the case (unless your children ask), but about all of our lives and actions.
With our sons, let’s discuss the role of women in the world and how they should be treated – no matter what their job, status, clothing option, friend’s suggestions or level of inebriation.
With our daughters, let’s discuss how it’s OK to say no, follow their instincts, walk (or run) away, and not to be afraid of hurting someone’s ego or (as when my daughter asked, if it was OK to knee a boy in the “balls” if he tried to force himself on her) genitals.
For all of our children, let’s open the lines of conversation early and often. Not every topic has to be a bombshell. By weaving them into our weekly conversations, we can help minimize fear while teaching safety and respect. They are children, they are going to make mistakes. Let them know they can, and should, come to you if something happens. And then we need to prepare ourselves for the possibility of them taking us up on our offer. Try running through as many scenarios in your mind of what they could come to YOU with, so you can remain calm and avoid inadvertently shutting down open communication.
We are moving to a new era in our country, let’s be an active part of it.
In her professional life, Kim Hoey Stevenson is a freelance writer who has written for such media outlets as American Online, Money Talks News, Gannett, Delaware Today, PARADE Magazine and Delaware Beach Life. She traveled extensively both personally and professionally. Most notably, she was in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope to cover the change over from US to United Nations forces. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Kim used her degree in psychology to help co-author the book, “Overcoming Misfortune: Children Who Beat the Odds,” a book that explored the positive side of psychology. Kim is married and is mother to one child at home, six grown step-children and grandmother to 15.