Be Careful You Don’t Say This One Harmful Thing To Your Daughter

Sexual harassment is the hot topic of recent weeks.  As a parent are there things to do or say that will help your daughters to not allow themselves to be harassed?

Now many parents are asking how they can protect their daughters from becoming victims and their sons from being perpetrators.

Sexual harassment and assault are highly pervasive among children. According to a 2011 study, 56 percent of girls reported having experienced sexual assault while in school.

A prevalent mistake some parents make are now being told by experts to never say to their daughters:

Stop telling adolescent girls that boys are mean to them “because they like you.” It’s an outdated response that normalizes male aggression against women at a dangerously young age.

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Sexual harassment and assault are highly pervasive among children. According to a 2011 study, 56 percent of girls reported having experienced sexual assault while in school.

A recent study suggests 44 percent of the students who admitted to sexually harassing others didn’t think of it as a big deal, and 39 percent said they were just “trying to be funny.”

Parenting expert Robyn Silverman, the host of the podcast How to Talk to Kids About Anything, explains that parents who tell girls that boys are being mean to them because they like them actually disempower their daughters from speaking out when they are put in painful situations.

“It tells them that they shouldn’t complain about the conduct because, even though the delivery is hurtful or uncomfortable, it’s ‘nice’ to be liked—and isn’t that what all girls are supposed to want? It all at once excuses the ugly behavior, gives it a favorable label and silences the girl.”

Silverman continues, “The message is insidious, the most atrocious kind of earworm that rings inside a girl’s head as she continues to interact with boys: their behavior is OK because the reason for their actions is seen as favorable.”

The lessons children learn about gender violence can significantly impact them later in life. Young girls who are taught to believe that aggression and bullying from boys is an indication of affection can go on to date men who mistreat them. Boys are negatively affected, too.  Seeing it, normalized boys can grow up thinking harassing women is acceptable behavior.

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Categories: Kids

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