The One Question Every Parent of a Girl Must Ask Themselves

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Memory Lane (2000’s)


“Nobody kisses me! 

Except my mother, my Grammy, my Aunt Kisha, my LaLa, my Nanny, my Dada, my Gma,” (and the list went on)

I knew the list cold.  It was a list we agreed on together.  See, I am his mother.

And, that little four-year-old who was being indignant and yelling, was my son.  He was playing with a ten-year-old girl a few yards away from me.

I didn’t see what happened but apparently, she must have kissed him.  He liked her.  But, he had just met her within the last hour.  So she wasn’t on the list.  He didn’t know her.

I was already working in domestic & sexual violence.  So you know I started him young with sexual violence prevention.

But that isn’t the only reason.

Back in the Day (1980’s)

My little Sister and I have some icky memories of being prodded to hug/kiss relatives/neighbors. It was just what you did. There were no other options. 

I hated that crap.

My little brother didn’t have to go through this.

They have reasons for them.  “He’s a boy.” “Boys don’t kiss.” “He’s playing, let him be.” “Aw, he’s a big boy.”

As for me and my sis, if we so much as turned up our faces or pulled away:

We were being rude.  
We weren’t being nice.  
We were hurting someone’s feelings.

Goodness, gracious I STILL remember a certain elderly male that our family used to visit who would actually pretend to cry just to guilt us into a hug/kiss. Everyone thought it was cute.  
It. Was. Not. Even. Cute. 

Message Received: Early Lessons

What message do you think that we got from all of this?

  • We learned to be very sensitive to the emotions of other people.
  • We learned that it was important to please others.
  • We learned that it even if we were uncomfortable other people’s emotions and pleasure was far more important than our own. 

Unfortunately, this way of thinking made us extremely vulnerable to predators. Child sexual abuse predators can easily detect this, and formulate a strategy to take advantage of it. 

  When this topic comes up, even WOMEN defend the practice of forcing children to kiss and hug people they don’t want to.

For, why?  This baffles me, each and every time. 
What is more important than a child learning safety and empowerment?

WE know that the lessons that we teach them in childhood will carry them into their adult years. 

Do we really want to raise women who will become people pleasers?
Do we really want to raise women who will place the emotions of others before her own? In any and all situations?

Important Question
Okay, it comes down to this.  

There will many moments when our children will be away from our safe watch.

I know.  One of the most terrifying thoughts in the world. 

When raising a girl child, do you want her to learn how to be compliant or how to bravely and loudly say “no” when she means it?

Remember those early lessons stick. 
You teach us that we should be compliant.  
That we should be nice.  
That we should think of the comfort of others before ourselves.

Message Received:  Later Lessons

It also taught a sense of helplessness. 
Children of abuse grow up with a sense of helplessness and powerlessness. 

I distinctly remember feeling a sense that adults were not only in charge, but they could do what they wanted.  When they wanted.  How they wanted.  
Whether I wanted something to happen or not I had to go along with it.

I always felt isolated and alone even during family gatherings where the house was filled with people who cared about me. Loved me. Adored me. 
Sure I was walking around eating, laughing, dancing, joking, and smiling.  
I was fully taking part in making memories.  

Yet, I still felt like a duct-taped hostage. 

I was sexually abused as a child by people my mother knew and thought she could trust.

90% of children who are sexually abused are abused by people known to the family.  

I’ll leave that right there.

And I’ll ask one last time


When raising any child, boy or girl, do you want them to learn how to be compliant or how to bravely and loudly say “no” when they mean it?


Click this link for our compilation of FREE RESOURCES
Courtesy of WESurviveAbuse

Compilation Includes:
 1. Sexual Violence Resource List
2. Say No & Tell Me If
3. How Do Good Parents Miss Child Sexual Abuse (article)
4.  National Latino Network (website link

AND …………….

Stop It Now Prevention Tools

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Would You Like to Stay Connected?

Post Author: Tonya GJ Prince

Tonya is a Social Justice Expert with over 24 years experience as a speaker, group facilitator, crisis intervention counselor, writer, advocate & activist. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development.
Her Tortie rescue cat MiaBelle, is her longtime co-writer.
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