I always just sort of assumed I’d raised a boy who would respect women and their boundaries; my husband and I love each other and model respect to them through our marriage, and we treat the kids with respect, as well.
When this Stanford Rapist Who Can Also Swim story started emerging, though, I began to question myself. My son is 15. Have we ever directly addressed the sticky situations that can come up? Does he truly understand consent? “Yes!” my heart tells me. “He’s kind and gentle and loving, of course he does!” And then my brain says, “slow yo roll, mama. What harm will a direct conversation do?”
Oh, brain. You give such sensible advice sometimes. So we watched a video together and talked about it.
We talked about how horrible the father’s letter was and how he totally discounted the victim, and what a pervasive problem that is today and how we can be part of the solution.
You guys, it was a good, non-awkward, important talk. I’m so glad we had it. I don’t expect him to be sexually active anytime soon, but it’s easier to set the right behaviors in motion early instead of trying to repair broken people.
I vow to do everything in my power to mold a son who is never Brock Turner, but who instead is ready to be Carl-Fredrik Arndt or Peter Jonsson, the brave graduate students who immediately intervened and testified.
Watch Tea Consent. Maybe it’s a little simple, but it offers a great jumping-off point for discussion.HGTV.com, and Babycenter.com. She lives in Huntsville with her husband and two kids.
Do you have a parenting story for our series “Tales From the Trenches”? We want to hear from you – the scary, the funny, the outlandish, the sobering –send us your tales from the Parenthood Trenches and we’ll share them here.[/themify_box]
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