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#31 of 49 Old 05-17-2004, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nikirj
I personally am far, far more worried about my son BEING abused than about my son being a potential abuser.
oh you are right. So often it is little boys ( like all the church abuse scandals) that are on the victim end of that. With my kids being little, I guess I worry a little less because I am very protective, don't use sitters, don' t let them wander etc. I feel like I have a good proactive approach to keep them safe now . I worry about going off to college or moving out, becoming a grown woman on her own. I know the media plays far too much a role in my fear, but also all the work I have been a part of since age 18. I guess when it has been a part of your life ( as the victim or as someone who works with victims) it is just too much at the top of the pile of worries
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#32 of 49 Old 05-17-2004, 01:27 PM
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modeling kind and good behaviour is the best remedy for any kind of violence.
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#33 of 49 Old 05-17-2004, 01:34 PM
 
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modeling kind and good behaviour is the best remedy for any kind of violence.


So true, for raising all children..boy or girl. Right on Pie.

I'm doing my best to raise my little boys. Actually I think I am a pro at this boy thing--but now that I have a daughter, I am totally lost. :LOL

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#34 of 49 Old 05-17-2004, 01:37 PM
 
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First, I agree that we all need to raise our children to respect others -- regardless of gender. And that children need to learn to respect themselves as well.

However, I think we need to be very careful with the statistics here. While it MIGHT be accurate to say that 1 in 3 women are abused worldwide (and since no one has offered any real sitation to this stat, I'm not willing to take it on faith), that probably isn't an accurate way to look at the world if you live in the United States. I realize that not everyone on these boards do, but I think the majority are U.S. If we carry these sorts of stats in our heads, we react very differently to the world. Its probably better to learn the REAL statistics for your area and work from there. But, in doing so, be carefull because it is easy for people to twist the numbers to support their point of view, so you have to be careful about accepting statistics at face value. I'm sure we've all heard about "lies, damm lies, and statistics". So, before we get all worked up about these sorts of numbers, let's make sure they are accurate and reflect our day-to-day reality. Which is not to say that we shouldn't work to make the world a safer place for everyone and all children, but don't over-react with respect to the risk to your child.
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#35 of 49 Old 05-17-2004, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
While it MIGHT be accurate to say that 1 in 3 women are abused worldwide (and since no one has offered any real sitation to this stat, I'm not willing to take it on faith), that probably isn't an accurate way to look at the world if you live in the United States
ah lets don't get too caught up in Americanism. We are raising global citizens.
Here are some references, I was using WHO/Unicef stats, fresh off my computer from my class this semester, it is lots of reading for sure!
http://www.unt.edu/sga/legislation/r...ions2003-4.htm
http://www.who.int/gender/documents/en/
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#36 of 49 Old 05-17-2004, 07:50 PM
 
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Moving this to Parenting Issues...
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#37 of 49 Old 05-17-2004, 08:18 PM
 
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It just makes me very upset to think anyone could think of my precious , sweet son as a potential abuser.
I am late also, but this makes me so upset!

I have two boys and one daughter. My daughter while in elementary school, had her dress pulled up, exposing her underwear, she was understandably angry. she came home and announced that she was "sexually harassed", slamming down her backpack and lunch box. she continued w=to wear dresses, but with shorts underneath. I felt bad, but also powerless. My sons are being raised in the same way my daughter is/was....sensitive and respectful of other peoples personal space and feelings. I think whatever i am doing is working. my almost 14 yr old would never invade someones personal space, be it a boy or girl, has a deep respect for girls. He understands what "no" means as we have talked to him about it. I just love him so very much, and we are very close. I think that this helps. Just like mothers of girls protect them fiercely, i can assure you i am as fierce about my boys protection as my daughters.

Having a good father helps tremendously. If a husband loves and respects his wife, truly valuing her, then their sons will follow this example. and their daughters will settle for nothing less (we hope!).
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#38 of 49 Old 05-18-2004, 03:57 PM
 
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As a student of feminism, I have to put in my .02 We recognize & label & color code our children from before they are born...look at all the ultrasounds just so you can find out if it's a boy or girl. IMO, we need to stop,as global citizens, segregating & categorizing---it only hurts us.
I liked the comment r/e not tolerating anything but positive male role models for our boys---it's only natural for any child to imitate their environment & we need to surround ourselves with respect and love. Sure, there are differences between male & female. But do we have to make them weakness/aggressive issues or can we focus on the real differences that make us unique & suited to survival & enlightenment?
P.S. I love a man in a skirt
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#39 of 49 Old 05-18-2004, 04:05 PM
 
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OT: I love a man in a skirt too!

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#40 of 49 Old 05-19-2004, 10:49 PM
 
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ITA with whoever said that the best way to make sure that boys respect women is that all the male role models in their life respect women. This is SO huge. It is no coincidence that the boy who pulled your dds socks off had a father who thought this was funny. My dh would be horrified and would NEVER make a joke about it.

One thing my dh told me that really affected him when he was young....he called his mother a bitch one time and his dad gently but strongly backed him up against the wall and said "that is my wife, and no one talks to her like that..." He said he got the point loud and clear that it was unacceptable to treat women that way. I see way too many fathers who allow their kids to curse and disrespect their mothers....they blow it off and act like it is no big deal. Dads have such power in that dept and imo really need to step in and show their chivalry & devotion to their wife. The same goes for wives defending their husbands. UNITED FRONT! This is what we are missing in todays families. Even if the parents are divorced, they can still be united for the kids instead of using the kids to disrespect each other.

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#41 of 49 Old 05-19-2004, 11:08 PM
 
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Have only skimmed but two things popped into my heads:

Do you think the mothers of adult abusers are any less sickened by the thought that it was their boy that did it? Do you think when their boys were little wee ones that they would not have reacted as strongly as you all have? I sense almost a tiny shift towards the "won't happen to me" side, which makes me nervous. I am unaware of this other thread being mentioned, but I think what the OP said was the honest truth and while I totally understand why boy mamas got their mama bear vibes going....let's try to see beyond the emotions for a second. NO mother wants or believes that their child is going to grow up to be a predator. If we can't talk about it as openly as the OP did, we won't get anywhere.

Second, I think that boys who abuse this way are just dysfunctional, period. And boys, being much more physical and sexually aggressive than girls, act out this dysfunctionality via sexual predation. Subject a little girl to the same kind of abuse, neglect, dysfunctional parenting and she likely won't lash out as an adult sexual predator, but in some other equally destructive (though statistically, less violent) manner. Perhaps she'll starve herself to death.

My point is, I think it's not so much a question of "what makes a sexual predator" as to "what makes a disturbed child?". Thus, it's not a question so much of treating boys differently, rather just honouring them, keeping them intact in spirit, secure, attached, etc...basically what all of us AP parents strive so hard to do.

Hope that makes sense.

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#42 of 49 Old 05-19-2004, 11:42 PM
 
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how do we raise our boys to be loving around women and not hurt them?
i'm sure that anything i'll say has already been posted, as i have yet to read the thread..... but let me just put this in.

i think the key to raising *anyone* to be loving, compassionate, and not want to hurt people is to raise them in a securely attached, loving, compassionate home environment. teach them to respect others and treat others with dignity and -- dare i use the word -- fellowship. teach them to respect life. teach them empathy, and how to relate to others.

may i (again?) post the article i love about this topic ~ http://www.paganparenting.net/inform...es/swords.html
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#43 of 49 Old 05-20-2004, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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let's try to see beyond the emotions for a second. NO mother wants or believes that their child is going to grow up to be a predator. If we can't talk about it as openly as the OP did, we won't get anywhere
Piglet, thank you so much for putting into words what I have been baffled with for days now. I truly hope that the AP moms on this board ARE least likely to raise the typical/agressive male . I hope AP is a great solution! But the whole " well girls are mean too" " lets not catagorize the sexes" is just well, beyond my grasp. Girls ARE disproportionately raped and abused by males worldwide as a tool of dominance, humiliation, war and cultural acceptance....including the good ol USA. All crimes against all peoples are horrible. But I am trying to work out the abuses in the male/female order and most of the posters have really great points.klothos, great article, thanks for sharing, I will pass it along to some mamas of boys I know..
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#44 of 49 Old 05-20-2004, 03:02 PM
 
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I think men in our culture are for the most part at a loss about what it means to be a man, what their role is, and I am not talking about 50's ideals but a more holistic approach.
Wonderful point. I want to ask dh about this when he gets home tonight! What does it mean to him to be a Man?

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Second, I think that boys who abuse this way are just dysfunctional, period. And boys, being much more physical and sexually aggressive than girls, act out this dysfunctionality via sexual predation. Subject a little girl to the same kind of abuse, neglect, dysfunctional parenting and she likely won't lash out as an adult sexual predator, but in some other equally destructive (though statistically, less violent) manner. Perhaps she'll starve herself to death.
That makes sense.

I have a son and a daughter. I'm trying to teach them both to have self respect and to treat others with dignity and respect. And in this age, I teach them both how to be safe. That's all I can do, I believe.

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#45 of 49 Old 05-21-2004, 03:59 PM
 
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Were I not a rape survivor, I probably wouldn't think about this with my ds. But since I am, I have had fleeting thoughts about it. I've read some, but not all, of the posts here. What I've read makes a lot of sense. I think that if I do have a dd also, that there are very few differences in how I would approach this with her. AP parenting, teaching them to respect others, and protecting our children is probably the best we can do.

I am also teaching ds to respect others and their space. I'm trying to teach him that if he wants to give a friend a hug, he needs to ask first (and wait for the answer). Also, if someone has a toy he wants, he's not to take a toy from someone, he's to ask if he can play with it, or trade. (If I have a dd, I will teach her the same things). And, although I realize that rape is more about power and control than about sex, dh and I will teach ds at an appropriate age that if he is going to have sex, he needs to respect the other person and if they say "no", that means "no".

If I have a dd, I will teach her that she doesn't alway need to be "nice". If someone makes her feel uncomfortable, she doesn't need to pretend they don't. I think that too many of us are taught the opposite, and that as children we were/are forced to ignore our instincts so as not to offend anyone. I know I was. And girls are taught this more than boys. (As I'm typing this, I'm realizing that I'll teach ds to listen to his instincts, too, same as if he were a girl). I may even encourage her to take a self-defense class, too, but I don't know. Shoot, if we were anywhere near the people who taught the self-defense class I took years ago, I'd have ds take their class for kids (when he's a bit older).

I do think that it's important not to teach fear, though. If we do, then we're teaching them the same thing the potential preditor/abuser would teach them! Childhood is a time when no one should have to be afraid. We have enough time for that in adulthood. And a few lucky people aren't even afraid then. I want my ds (and any other child we might have) to feel secure and empowered, and to allow others to feel the same. Time will tell if dh and I are successful at that.

Hope I've made at least a little sense here.

Christie

Christie ~ proud Mama to : 5/01, and : 3/07; and proud wife to my since 1992. We have 13 and 2 : It's looking more and more like either a farm or a zoo around here.
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#46 of 49 Old 05-21-2004, 04:20 PM
 
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I have two boys, 6 and 2, and a baby girl. There are going to be differences in how I raise them. My 6yo is very physical, in both good ways and bad. He is very affectionate, which is good. But he is also prone to throwing things and hitting when he gets angry or upset. The fact that he doesn't get in MORE fights is a testament to his amazing willpower and our guidance. I KNOW that his first instinct is to act out physically when he gets upset.

He has always played with girls more than boys, and part of that is simple geography. Our neighbors have always been girls, and he plays with them at school, too. I have said to him, while talking about hitting and such, that it is NEVER okay to hit a girl. NEVER. And I made it specific to girls, too. That might be un-feminist of me, but there is an imbalance of power between boys and girls in this society, even on the playground. That difference will become more pronounced as he grows older, but hopefully will be less pronounced than it was for my generation. I want him to understand, now, at age 6, that it is NEVER okay for a boy to hit a girl. NEVER. And yes, it is less okay for a boy to hit a girl than another boy. We don't ignore the issue of him engaging in physical altercations with other boys. We tell him over and over that hitting is rarely the answer, and that he should only do so ino rder to defend himself, and only if he can't get away to tell an adult. But we emphasize that he should never hit a girl. As he gets older, we'll talk more about sexism and his role in fixing it. Feminism isn't just for daughters.

I think men learn respect for women by seeing women that respect themselves and are respected by the men in their lives. I don't expose my son to sexist, racist, generally crappy men. Someone told a story of calling their mother a nasty name and their father talking to him about it. My dad did the same thing with my brother once, and I doubt he's forgotten it.

Like it has already been said several times, I'll do what I can to make sure that my sons are not abused in any way, themselves. I think the statistics about male victims of sexual abuse are seriously underreported. I think it is rare for a person who has never been abused in any way to become an abuser. Rape is about power, not sex.

Also, when the time comes, my husband and I will talk to them about how NO means NO means NO. Never have sex with a girl who is drunk, no matter how many times she says she wants to and no matter how many times you've had sex with her before. Never assume that a girl wants to have sex, get her express consent. (Yes, you can ask. My husband asked me the first few times we had sex. No mixed signals.) Obviously the conversations I have with my daughter will be a bit different. There isn't much chance of her forcing herself on a man. I'm not sure how I'll deal with that. I still have a lot of reading to do.

Sorry if this is disconnected. Getting close to time to go get my kid from school.
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#47 of 49 Old 05-21-2004, 08:50 PM
 
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Mothra, I'm sort of kidding here, just to tease you. Since you make such a point of saying you will teach your son to NEVER hit a girl, NEVER. Though it's rare, sometimes grade school boys get picked on by bigger girls. What if a girl hits him. How should he respond?

You make a good point about the imbalance of power between males and females, though.

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#48 of 49 Old 05-21-2004, 10:50 PM
 
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Thoughts on boys and hitting.

We have four "rules" which I go over and over with my oldest, whose emotions run close to the surface and who has lashed out a few times. You do each step in succession after each action from the other person. No skipping steps!

If somebody hits you or picks on you:
1. Tell them to stop, that you don't like it.
if that doesn't work,
2. Walk away.
then,
3. Tell an adult (teacher, parent, caregiver)
if no action is taken and it happens again
4. Hit back!

We added step 4 because I have seen a couple of playground incidents and he's been around a couple of aggressive kids whose parents NEVER disciplined them in any way, and at that point I'd have been happy if they smacked their kid, just to keep them off mine! So, I figure, if he's not being protected by people who are supposed to protect him, he ought to protect himself.

We've not made them gender specific, though, more size-specific. Like it's NEVER okay to hit babies because they can't talk and don't know any better!
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#49 of 49 Old 05-21-2004, 10:52 PM
 
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I knew someone would say that. It has not happened that he was never able to get away from a girl who hit him. We stress that ANYTIME someone else hits him, he is to walk away, and get physical only if he has to get another child off of him. It has not happened that he's resorted to this with a girl, but we have told him that he can put his hands on a girl if she attacks him and he is unable to just walk away.

My son is physically big for his age, even though he is young for his grade, he is one of the biggest kids in his class. He's even taller than most of the girls. A girl would really have to just have it out for him to attack him. He doesn't have problems with many kids. We talk about what happens at school daily, so when there is a problem we try to catch it and deal with it before it becomes physical. He has learned to just walk away when another child hits him. Usually. We've only had one problem in the three and a half months we've lived here, and it was with a little boy and he started it. It is easier for him to walk away than restrain himself from instigating, I think.

I don't want him to totally not defend himself in the rare event that a girl does just totally attack him, but this just isn't very likely to happen. Girls usually pick on other girls, which is another thread. I think it is more important that he get the message that he just is not to hit girls.
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