Back in the 90’s we grappled with how to talk to our kids about Bill Clinton’s immorality.
Yesterday a dad with two daughters asked me and a couple other moms with grown kids how he ought to talk to his 11-year-old about what she is hearing about the Trump tape.
He started a conversation, driving her home one day recently and she said “Oh I know all about that! I hear about it at school”.
Here’s the thing. Our kids may have INFORMATION.
Our daughters and sons may know that WHAT they are hearing is wrong, but they need to know WHY it is inappropriate and HOW to be strong and brave in potential situations they may find themselves in.
If there is one regret I have as a mom it’s that I didn’t coach my kids for awkward situations more.
The good news is that this terrible tape and election in the gutter gives us a chance to reiterate with our daughters (and sons) that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. God has created them inside and out as amazing bundles of uniqueness to be cherished – treated with respect, and honor.
Over and over again as they go out the door we need to remind them that they are precious masterpieces of infinite worth.
And then we need to say…
If someone uses lewd, crude language that offends you…
If someone talks about another person in a way that is degrading…
If someone asks you to do something that makes you uncomfortable…
If someone touches you in a way that is unwanted…
You are the boss of you.
You are the boss of your eyes and ears, your mind and body.
You ALWAYS have a choice. God has made you of infinite worth and so you look up, not down.
You may be scared, but you whisper the prayer that never fails: “Help.” Then you stand tall and use your voice. You say, “STOP! THIS IS NOT OK!”
- But what about the value of tolerance?
This kind of behavior is evil and evil is never to be tolerated.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [or women] to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
- But what if they laugh at me?
You pity them. You look them straight in the eye and say, “Your laughter does not make me less than.” I am trying to respect you and I expect you to show me respect too.
“Strong men — men who are truly role models — don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.” Michelle Obama
- But what if they call me a prude?
Words matter. They can hurt . But when that happens you wrap yourself in this word: “BELOVED”. And you remember:
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45
May God work even this together for good in our homes. May we raise brave, kind, strong sons and daughters who respect themselves and others.
“When they go low, we go…”