Sexual harassment is a topic that should be discussed way more often than it is. It’s one of the most important and vital subjects a person should be aware of. Despite its significance, it’s still widely deemed as taboo, and uncomfortable. So, here’s a guide on how to teach your kids about sexual harassment – without all the awkwardness.
1. Teach them About Consent
Whether it’s through hugs, kisses to family members, or touching a friend, make sure your kids know about consent. How they should only touch other people with their permission, and if they don’t want someone to touch them, then that’s okay too. Have your kids set their own boundaries.
2. Use Diagrams
To lighten the mood and make the discussion more kid-friendly, try incorporating some informational posters or diagrams. Maybe make a chart of important words and their definitions, such as consent, sexual assault, rape, and sexual coercion.
3. Teach Your Boys Not to Catcall
It’s a shame that until today, grown men still catcall girls wherever they go, seeing no problem with it whatsoever. We can prevent this from going on by educating future generations. Teach boys not to catcall, tell them to put themselves in women’s places, to think if their sister or their mother was the one being catcalled. Tell them that it’s not a compliment, that it’s not “fun” or “cool”, and that their actions do have consequences.
4. Give Real Examples
Many children are visual learners. Whether you want to tell them about a real situation where someone was harassed or if you want to play a game about respecting boundaries, make sure you incorporate the topic in real examples. This will help get the point across and help them understand better.
5. Make Sure They’re Comfortable Talking About It
If one of your kids happens to experience sexual harassment, you’re going to want them to speak up about it. Make sure they’re okay with talking about it. You don’t know how it may have affected them, they may even feel it’s their fault somehow. So, talk about it. Again and again and again until they’re comfortable and can open up to you
We know that the topic may be intimidating at first, and you may come up with excuses such as “my kids are still too young”, but it’s better to teach them before it’s too late. 97% of girls have faced sexual harassment in their lifetime, and that statistic is already high enough. Prevent sexual harassment by educating your kids.