Raising Gender Respectful Kids

Hello friends, I invite you to check out this wonderful poem by Dominique Christina (there is some mature language so be careful around young children). I had the pleasure of conversing with this incredible woman via email; she and Slam Find have granted me permission to share her work with all of you. Those of us with children have a responsibility to teach them to respect one another regardless of gender. I think it is important to be honest when talking to our daughters and sons about sex. We should not be afraid to educate them about reproduction and male and female anatomy. Knowledge, contrary to what some may think, is not a dangerous thing. What is dangerous is allowing your children to enter the world unarmed without the correct information. It is also equally dangerous to allow others (friends, and random people) to educate your children about important issues.

I find it distressing what is going on in the world today. We are in the midst of a global epidemic with regard to the negative treatment of woman. Young men are taught through the media and other avenues that it is okay to objectify and treat women poorly. Young girls are kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery, women’s reproductive rights are up for debate on a daily basis, and rape and sexual assault victims are often further victimized by a society that says it must have been their fault.

I don’t know when it happened, but somehow the message that being a woman is a special thing has been lost. As parents, we must make an effort to counter this way of thinking by educating our young boys and girls to begin to think differently. I know it is a difficult task. It can be hard to counteract the messages that they receive on a daily basis but with effort, I think it is possible to change some of these views.

For our boys, we much teach them that woman should be respected and revered. They need to know that women are amazing creatures, incredibly strong individuals, and no matter what they might be wearing, it is not okay to physically/sexually assault them, or to refer to them as “bitches and ho’s.” We must teach them to not tolerate abuse of women of any kind. As for our young women, they need to learn to validate themselves internally and to not allow male approval to define them. They need to begin to feel proud of their bodies and understand that the female body is a most miraculous thing capable of incredible feats.

Video Credit: Republished with permission from Slam Find and poet, Dominique Christina 2014

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