In the wake of vile revelations around movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, the internet had been flooded with women sharing their own harrowing stories of harassment and sexism under the #MeToo banner.
How do we make sure our daughters don’t become a statistic, and that our sons don’t become a part of the problem?
Dr Justin Coulson is a parenting expert and the father of six girls. He shares his views on how we can talk to our kids about these issues, and how to teach sons to behave.
How do you talk to daughters about this issue?
It can be hard to find the words, so start with some basic body safety conversations.
Listen to Justin on Kinderling Conversation:
From age two, Justin and his wife teach their girls that no one can look at or touch, or ASK to look at or touch any part of their body covered by underwear or swimwear. As mum and dad it’s okay to wash those private parts in the bath, and it’s okay for a doctor to view these parts with permission when a parent is present. But this is the only time.
It’s also important to note the difference between good touching and bad touching, and it’s really up to us to have that conversation with them.
And what about our sons?
There’s a conversation to be had with boys about consent. It starts by saying, ‘If somebody says no, what does it mean? The answer is, it means no.’
If you try to do anything with someone else - hold hands, kiss, touch - and they say no, it means no. And that’s when they need to back off.
How can we raise boys to be respectful?
Justin shares three simple things to emphasise with all kids.
1. Example, example, example.
This is Justin’s golden rule. “If we want to teach our kids anything, we need to teach by example,” Justin says. Men need to show women respect, and women need to show respect to each other.
2. Marry consent with empathy
“The next thing we should do is teach this idea of consent, but teach it in association with empathy,” Justin says. He suggests asking the following questions, to help them think about how their behaviour might impact on another person. How will someone react? What’s their response going to be? How will it make them feel inside? If we can get our boys and girls to pause and just think about other, we can genuinely change how they will behave. They will develop empathy and respond more positively.
3. Teach intimacy
From the very early age group and as our sons get older, Justin says it's important they learn about healthy relationships. Boys in particular need to understand more than just the mechanics of sex and the physical intercourse that occurs. They need to understand context, commitment and that feelings are involved.
Why we need to change the way we talk to our daughters
Reframing the way we talk to girls to create confidence.
5 ways to protect your kids from cyber stranger danger
Stranger danger has changed over the years, so what can we do to protect our families.
How to protect your child from abuse
Danielle Groden explains how kids can stay safe.
Protecting your kids online starts with educating them
The steps you should take as a teacher of technology.
How to talk to kids about death and losing a loved one
Discussing death can be horrible, but here are some sensitive and beautiful ways to start the conversation.
Meet the preschoolers fighting to get the Aboriginal Flag flown on the Harbour Bridge
"Only 13 more years till these kids can vote. Phew."
Brand new Bedtime Explorers is here, and it's all about DINOSAURS!
We know how the kids are getting to sleep tonight!
Sir Paul McCartney is the latest musician to write a kids' book!
It's called Hey Grandude, and it looks every bit as wonderful as his music.