Teaching our children that the word “NO” has meaning and value should be done from an early age.
As more women are sexually abused than men, I shall focus on this from a female perspective, but it is worth noting that males are abused too and therefore the same shall apply.
Sexual abuse is a prominent problem in our society and others. Those unaware think it is a rare crim, something that is violent and happens to women in the street when violent men are stalking them. It isn’t. More women are raped in relationships or family settings than any other place, and the word no is disregarded in each case. The word no has no power.
NO should have power.
We need to teach our sons that when they’re told no it is to be respected. We need to teach our daughters that when they say no it holds power.
No means no.
So how do we do this?
Sometimes our children will do things that are dangerous or wrong, and when we try to stop them they shout no. I know that when Miss Rose’s various attempts at crimes are being thwarted she will screech “NO NO NO MUMMY!” at me, and I have to ignore it. But I also explain it. I explain that for whatever reason I am having to impose my will over hers, and that it is not just for the sake of power, there is reason behind it. I explain that I understand her no, but for legitimate reasons have to ignore it.
However, if I am tickling her and she says no, I stop. If I am cuddling her and she says no, I let go. If I ask if she wants a kiss and she says no, I don’t kiss her.
I watch people constantly asking children for kisses or cuddles and when they refuse, they’re told they have to and are pulled in. That is the instant the word “no” loses it’s value. That’s when they start to learn that refusing to allow people to do things to your body is irrelevent.
If you are having physical contact with your child, or anyone’s child, and they ask you to stop then stop. If someone asks for a cuddle and they say no, don’t force them. It is not their duty to hug, and it is not an adults right to receive a hug. Children have rights over their bodies and we need to ensure they understand that, and understand it fast, because if it starts to lose it’s value as a child, that value will be completely diminished by adulthood.
Respect the no. Teach respect for the no. Command respect with the no.
No is an important, significant and valuable word. Make sure your children learn to understand that.
Simple. Important. Effective.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!