Why moms and dads need to talk to their kids about sexual harassment
It's very important for parents to teach their kids about sexual harassment so that children know how to keep themselves safe at all times.
A few days ago, a page on Facebook called PUA Academy, or Pick-Up Artist Academy came under fire for allegedly "breeding sexual predators." According to netizens, the actions that the group promotes constitute sexual harassment, and are also promoting misogyny on their page.
The netizens who reported the page added that they were harassed and received various threats on social media.
According to YASH founder and convenor Alex Castro shared that "Very alarming po how systematic the misogyny is. So that’s why we decided to pick up the story, to investigate and expose PUA academy."
He adds that some women have already filed for complaints against members of PUA Academy. "Meron na pong naka-file na individual cases sa NBI. We coordinated it with the victims tapos sila po nag-file na ng cases against certain PUA members sa NBI. Meron na po ngayon mga nag-iisip na rin po na mag-file ng criminal cases against the members," he shares.
Because of this alarming news, parents should make it a priority to talk to their kids about sexual harassment. It's important for kids to know at a young age how to protect themselves, and how to act accordingly towards the opposite sex.
Teaching respect and consent should start at home, and parents should be the ones to initiate these conversations. However, it's not always easy to engage your child in these sensitive topics.
So how should parents talk about sexual harassment with their kids? Here are some important tips:
It's important for parents to not make their kids feel embarrassed about their bodies. Parents should use the actual words for the body parts, since it helps kids feel more comfortable about themselves. It's also helpful when parents are trying to figure out if something inappropriate happened to their child.
Boundaries are very important. Kids shouldn't be expected to kiss or hug a person that they're not comfortable with, even close relatives. Kids need to learn to say no, and parents shouldn't force their kids into doing anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Teach your kids to speak out whenever they feel unsafe in a certain situation or with a certain person. Tell them that it's okay to say no to adults and that the important thing is that they need to feel comfortable about a situation.
Parents need to teach their children, especially young boys, to respect girls and women. Men and women deserve equal respect, and these days it's important to start teaching these values to boys at a very young age. Boys shouldn't feel superior to women, and should respect them in all situations.
Equality should also be practiced at home. Throw away any notion of chores for boys, or chores for girls. Boys should learn to wash clothes, clean the house, cook etc. And girls should be expected to also learn how to do traditionally "male" tasks such as throwing out the garbage, lifting heavy objects, etc.
Teach your kids that boys and girls are equal, and make it an important part of your home life.
Whenever your child sees anyone harassed, or if they are harassed themselves, let them speak out. Teach them to be vocal and to help others if they feel that another person is being harassed.
Parents can also sometimes fall into the trap of sexism. Moms and dads should learn to embrace equality and treat each other as equals. Dads should show their young boys that they respect women, and moms should teach their little girls to be empowered and to not let anyone hold them back simply because of their sex.