Last night I scrolled through my feed, one after another of me too. Too many to count. I sat and I read every single one, tears streaming down my face.
My heart broke for those women, teens, girls, sisters, daughters, mothers, friends. My heart broke for them now and for them when it happened. My heart split wide open for all the ones who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, or still felt they shouldn’t speak out. And then my heart shattered, for my two baby girls down the hall. I don’t want them to be me too, to grow up in a world where it takes a Harvey Weinstein or someone like him to create a movement of people no longer afraid to stand and say me too.
Enough is enough. As mamas (and dads) we can start to put an end to the next generation of me too’s. How? We need to start talking, start listening, start creating a safe place for our kids.
We need to teach our sons and daughters now. Not when they head out on a date at sixteen or, god forbid, when they get home. We need to talk about boundaries, and respect, and for the love, parents, we need to talk about sex! Yes, it is awkward and weird but it gets easier and less weird. We need to discuss what is okay and what is definitely not okay. We need to say those hard words. We need to call it what it is and be real and ask what they know. We need to discuss body parts and feelings in a way that doesn’t create shame.
We need to start listening now so that when they have big things they want to tell us or ask us we have already created a safe place for them to share. And when I mean now, I mean now, whether that child is five or fifteen we need to begin to have age-appropriate conversations. When they come to us we need to put down our phones, and look them in their eyes, and give them our full attention. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. We need to start, and never stop, listening.
We need to prove to them we are trustworthy so when it really counts they will come to us and know, KNOW IN THEIR HEART, that no matter what they tell us, we will believe them. We will love them and fight for them. Because we have already been listening and acting on their behalf.