We are facing a new frontier in this era of parenting. As women in the post #Metoo movement, we are trying to raise our children differently so that our daughters don’t have to add their names to the growing list of women impacted by sexual abuse, assault, and harassment.
I see you, mom of boys, I see you raising young men who respect and value women. As a mother of 3 girls, I say “Thank you.” I see you buying the trendy shirts that say “Boys will be
boys kind” and I know that you are raising your boys to truly strive for kindness. This is all new for all of us. How do I raise my daughters to be kind, smart, funny, brave and fearless? I can take heart in knowing that my peers are raising their boys to be the same.
Mom of boys, I know it is so hard to teach these young men to keep their hands to themselves. To not resort to violence, to use their words. All of your hard work on this will save our daughters. I don’t want to enroll my daughters in self-defense classes, I don’t want her to have to carry mace in her purse, I don’t want to have to teach her that it is unsafe for her to go for a run alone. I am rooting for you! I am praying for you! I know that you can be the generation of moms that help our young men to not resort to hurting others.
Thank you for showing and telling your sons that girls can be just as smart, strong and brave as they are. Thank you for reading books and showing them movies that have a strong female lead. I love that your son loves Wonder Woman and Batman. Knowing that you are working so hard on this, helps me to not just tell my daughters that they are “just as smart, strong and brave as boys”, but I feel like I am sending them out in a world that believes that too.
Your sons are so smart and have so many wonderful things to say and to contribute. Thank you for teaching them to maybe let someone else speak too. I see how you ask him to give my quiet child a chance to respond or ask your athletic son to include a girl on his recess team. These small acts that your kind son is making, allow the girls around him to gain confidence. Thank you for teaching him that he can help others’ light to shine without having to dim his own.
Our children have the amazing opportunity to witness both women and men rise to power. They don’t just have female teachers, but female principals, mayors, preachers, and coaches. I love how you are teaching your boys to respect female authority. To not discount a leader because of their gender. My girls are so excited to see women in leadership, it is important to have people in power that look like you. Thank you for taking the time to explain to them that women can be powerful leaders on a soccer field, classroom, boardroom, and pulpit.
I am starting to teach my oldest daughter about her body. I tell her that she is beautiful at any size or shape. She feels pretty in her own skin. I really appreciate how you are taking the time to teach your young men that it isn’t their place to comment on a woman’s body. Men’s words about a woman’s appearance hold much value (even if we don’t want them to). Thank you for helping your sons to know that they don’t need to comment, catcall or make rude remarks. Because of you, your young sons will learn that there is so much more to a woman than what she looks like. He will take notice of her smart brain, witty humor or fast pitch. Thank you for guiding him down this path.
I love how I hear you teach your sons that their significant other is their equal, not their possession. When a girl says “No” she means it. I see how you are working with them to learn to respect others’ boundaries and limits. I am working with my daughters, so they know that their words have power and when they say “No” it means something. I am teaching them to set clear boundaries, to have firm limits and to make them known.
These conversations with our children about their bodies and sexuality can be uncomfortable and awkward. I am talking to my daughters about periods, sex, consent, kissing, personal space – I am not doing a terrific job, but I know that these hard talks will help her to understand how her body works, her emotions, feelings, and urges. I take comfort in knowing that you are having these conversations with your sons too. This can be hard, none of us really know what to say, but we have to say something. Thank you.
As women, we know how it feels to be harassed. We are all tired of turning on the news and hearing of one more man using his power over a woman. I don’t want this to be my daughters’ reality. I promise you, I am raising my girls to be strong, to stand up for what they believe in, to treat others with dignity and respect. I know you are too. We will all work together and raise the generation of children who will read about the #Metoo movement in their history books and shake their heads in disbelief.