The nation is consumed these days by the controversy surrounding the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. Is he guilty? Is she lying? But with all the nonstop discussions, one critically important topic is being completely overlooked – the messages it's sending to our kids.
It shouldn't matter what political party you support or even if you're apolitical. It doesn't matter if you have boys or girls. What does matter is taking the time to have "that talk" with your children. The one where you explain that – no means no! Then discussing personal responsibility, unsafe behaviors, respect for self and others, and never feeling ashamed to tell someone if you have been abused.
It's up to you to speak up because kids are receiving conflicting messages such as boys will be boys, it was high school, they were drunk, or she was asking for it. In other words, our kids are hearing, "You get a pass for immoral, reckless, and illegal behavior if you're a teen." The bottom line? You don't! And your kids need to know that.
Tell them if they find themselves in an intimate situation and feel uncomfortable how things are progressing, they need to clearly say no! They should never feel embarrassed or pressured to do something they don't want to do. It doesn't matter if they gave the wrong impression at first or thought perhaps they were ready. If someone wants to stop – they have the right and responsibility to do so.
If your son or daughter is on the receiving end of the no, they should fully understand to stop immediately. There are no excuses for continuing. Being high on alcohol, drugs, or just plain young love doesn't give them any rights in the situation. No complaints about it being unfair or being led on. They must simply stop.
Explain to your children that they are minors. This means no alcohol at any time. The legal age is 21 and they can be punished if they break the law. Kids may justify their drinking by saying no one has gotten hurt, but it doesn't make it right.
Times have changed. Kids are exposed to all types of extremely dangerous behaviors coming at them non-stop from all directions through social media, video games, and TV. As a parent it can feel like you're fighting an uphill battle, especially when there is excessive news coverage of our highest government officials making light of these behaviors while spouting incorrect information.
Recently, President Trump tweeted: I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.
While in reality, less than 30 percent of sexual abuse victims tell anyone. Sexual abuse is so pervasive that one out of every five women and one out of every 33 males has experienced abuse. Only six out of a 1,000 perpetrators will even end up in prison.