sbearbergman: a photo of my head and shoulders, dressed in a navy suit and bright blue shirt, face turned partly away (Default)
[personal profile] sbearbergman
 Five things we tell our two-year-old son to help him grow up resistant to the messages of the rape culture:

1. We hug people for as long as they would like to be hugged, not for as long as we want to hug them.

2. We don't put our hands or feet in anyone's clothes without their permission.

3. We ask people whether they would like company or privacy when they're in the bathroom or changing their clothes. If they say they would like privacy, we wait until they are ready for company again.

4. When someone asks or tells us to stop the game we're playing, first we stop and then we ask why.

5. When we rumpus*, we watch our friends' faces. If they look happy, we can keep enjoying the game. If they look upset or scared, we stop rumpusing and choose a different game.


(I was thinking about this because I reminded him of number two this evening as we were snuggled up and he was flicking the waistband of my shorts with his tiny toes. He pulled them out instantly - he knows this rule - and his response made me realize that without really thinking about it as such, we had given him some pretty useful foundations about boundaries and consent. If he keeps respecting those few simple rules, fully comprehensible even to a two-year-old, he'll be in pretty good shape as a man.)

(clearly, I do not literally mean /all/ he or anyone will ever need to know; I stole the title from Robert Fulghum's insanely popular 90s-era book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.")



*our household word for wrestling/roughousing/partner acrobatics type games.


Date: 2012-12-18 05:52 am (UTC)
wordweaverlynn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wordweaverlynn
This is great wisdom. May I share? With link and full attribution.

Date: 2012-12-22 09:16 pm (UTC)
maevele: (Default)
From: [personal profile] maevele
It amazes me how much trouble grownups have with these things though. Both of my kids are aware that you don't touch people without checking with them, because they own their bodies. But grownups, all the fucking time, with No Ill Intent, will decide that they have the right to touch my kids without asking, like to move my 6 year old to a different spot.

It shouldn't be so hard to teach grownups the same boundaries my kids can manage.

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sbearbergman: a photo of my head and shoulders, dressed in a navy suit and bright blue shirt, face turned partly away (Default)
S Bear Bergman

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