Goodness. I feel like this post is just indicitive of the times we are living in at the moment.
We have leaders who believe it is okay to grab whatever they want, whenever they want.
When we hear about rape cases, the comment section is flooded with 'She was asking for it,' and 'She knew better.'
'She shouldn't have put herself in that situation.'
Gotta love that one. Who doesn't love a good victim shaming?
Today's society treats men as if they are some sort of wild animal with no sort of self control or moral compass and I gotta tell you as a mother of 3 boys..
That is insulting.
As a wife to a good man. Again, that is insulting.
Without getting too political in this post, I have been pretty shocked, disappointed and saddened by this November's election and reactions.
All of this really got me thinking. What do we do to teach our children that their words and other peoples words mean something, and that our desires deserve to be respected? What can we do at home as parents to help our children understand no means no, and the importance of boundaries. Are we doing a good enough job in our own home?
So on, and so forth.
Then I was lucky enough to encounter a situation last night that really helped define my stance on this topic as a parent.
We were at a restaurant, killing time at the play place when my 3 year old daughters runs out of the play area, crying, with her gaggle of brothers following closely behind.
I asked her if she was hurt and she said 'No there is a little boy who won't stop hugging me.'
I giggled a bit and said 'Sparrow, tell him no thank you if you don't want to be hugged sweetie.'
She climbed in my lap and then said 'Mama, I told him no thank you and he just keeps hugging me!'
At this point his mother who is in earshot hears and says 'He is only hugging you.' And rolls her eyes.
I then make sure to say loud enough for her to hear: 'Sparrow, sweetie, your body belongs to you.
you do not have to hug anyone you do not want to. If no thank you does not work, you come get mama.'
The mother rolls her eyes again, and sighs heavily as if to say 'What is wrong with the world?'
It took everything in me not to go full "soap box mode." Telling her that what is wrong with the world, is raising boys to think that it is okay to put their hands on someone
even when they are asking you to stop. No matter how innocent their intentions may be, respecting someones wishes about their body is not negotiable.
There are in fact laws about stuff like that.
Now, I know that the little boy was only hugging my daughter so before everyone goes ape shit on me, I was not mad at the little boy.
I get that, at age 6, he just wants to hug. In his mind he was most likely being nice to my daughter.
However, as sweet as this boy's intentions most likely were it is my job as Sparrow's mother to teach her that her body belongs to her and only her.
That when she says no, it means no. Not the 2nd time, not the 3rd time. The first time.
It is my job as a mother to disregard the eye rolls, whispers, and glares of other parents and teach her that she CAN say no to anything she wants.
That she doesn't owe anyone an explanation. Not a single mofo person.
Then my silver lining moment came. That moment as a parent when you kind of want to pat yourself on the back and say 'Yes, we at least got THAT right!'
because let's face it, as parents, we live for those moments because the other 99.9% of the time we have no freaking idea what we are doing. Am I right?
This happened guys and I was beaming with pride:
When Sparrow finally felt comfortable to head back in and play, my oldest son lingered, watching her through the glass.
I asked him what he was doing and he replied 'Just watching her. I know that kid was only hugging her but she said no like three times. She clearly didn't want his hugs, it was creeping me out that he kept on hugging her. Like, respect her dude, cmon.'
So, listen up world, you heard the boy, we will demand that you 'Respect her dude, cmon.'
Even at age 3, and for the rest of her life. Even about hugs. Even about kisses. Even about cuddles.
So go be a badass babe, Sparrow, we got your back.