The Truth about Child Sexual Abuse & Respect

Someone once gave me this well-meaning parenting advice once:

“Always teach children to respect their elders by teaching them to refer to adults as “Mr.” and “Ms.” 

I get the spirit of this advice.

Respect for elders & adults were huge in my mom’s home. We were raised to show ALL adults a high level of respect. No questions asked.

Unfortunately, where silence AND limited questions co-exist, there is usually someone suffering.

 When I hear someone say to me, “They need to learn respect.”

 I listen for tone.

Because sometimes this is spoken in bitterness, impatience, haughtiness, and/or arrogance; it has been my experience that they don’t always say what they really mean.

If they were being truthful they would say, “They need to learn to obey me without question.”

Well, when my son was born, I realized that I didn’t want him to go through this type of suffering if I could help it. And I believe I was an activist in the womb, so, with God, Faith, the right folks I ushered in another concept into my parenting style.

A process of re-evaluation of my life showed me that lessons of mutual respect were lacking from my mother’s upbringing. Thus, they were lacking from mine as well.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am definitely in favor of respect.

Shoot a few months ago my son laughed himself to tears because my siblings and I jumped when a suggestion was thrown out in the room that we should just tell mom what she wanted to hear rather than just tell her the truth.    You would have thought it was still 25 years ago.

You would have thought it was still 25 years ago.  We were scrambling around as if just putting the suggestion in the atmosphere was going to bring wrath upon us.  Yes, people chuckled.  At our expense.

Whatever, my Momma don’t play.

I’m with you guys. When I read the newspaper, watch television, listen to the radio, ride public transportation etc. I have to hold my jaw up sometimes when just witnessing the lack of it.

We need more of it today. If I could I would stand in lines for hours to vote for it.  I would write about it endlessly.  If they sold it as a brand in the store, I would boycott all the other brands so that I could buy it.

BUT, I have come to know this: It is essential that when we teach children about respect, we teach them that respect must always be mutual.

Yes, we teach them lessons about respecting others. But at the same time we must teach them about how others are to actively demonstrate respect towards them. At all times. No matter what age, gender, title, or VIP letters the person has surrounding their name.

So, what is the problem with this?

“Always teach children to respect their elders by teaching them to refer to adults as “Mr.” and “Ms.”

Children must know that just because someone has a title DOES NOT mean that they are allowed to violate them. YOU make think that this makes sense. People who abuse children have manipulative and targeted ways of getting exactly what they want.

The overwhelming majority of children who are abused are abused by someone that they know.

While teaching children to respect adults PLEASE teach them that adults are absolutely expected to respect children as well.

They are special.  They are so beautiful and unique. We are a gift to one another.

No one is allowed to ever touch them, say things to them, do things to them, or ask them to do things that dishonor that. 

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