Just watched the news - how do we protect our daughters?(22 Posts)
What I'll say comes from my own childhood.
My mum was, at the time I was growing up, a journalist - bit before the era of utter saturation coverage of every single tragic story, but they got reported on, and often she was the one on the local paper doing the reporting - so as such she got a much stronger picture of the dark side of life than the "normal" parent and because of that - she really did restrict me and be overprotective about it sometimes (things like telling me I HAD to get my horrific school photo bought "because I want a recent photo of you in case you ever get kidnapped" weren't the nicest things to say to a young kid really).
End of the day though all she could really do was din in stranger danger, make sure I knew things like how to make emergency reverse charge phonecalls and stuff and I'm not quite sure the "if you're grabbed, grab his nuts, squeeze and pull" drill was the best teaching for a 10 year old really but we did all that!
Our children have been safer than they ever have been. Don't worry.
The world is actually statistically safer for children of both sexes than it has ever been.
Horror stories sell papers and get viewing figures up.
Something like over 80% of abuse is within the 4 walls of the family. Generally speaking it's nice old Uncle Jim bobbing your baby up and down on his oh-so-friendly knee you should be pearl clutching at, not the out of the ordinary and thankfully extremely rare cases of stranger abduction/abuse.
But, yes, as others have said, you teach your children well. That's all any of us can do. But you never, ever teach them to be afraid. You teach them to be strong, and to say no, and to use their common sense.
and a bit of self defence and how to poke an eyeball out whilst kneeing a groin comes in handy as well
I want to be teaching my DCs (at appropriate ages) that it's not OK to exploit or abuse others; helping them recognize when they or others are vulnerable and what steps they can take; teaching them to know the difference between confidential and secret. Without using the jargon I want them to be able to assess risk and reduce it e.g. going home in a group or with a known parent instead of walking alone up dark lanes.
I don't want to exclude either prevention or protection (of self and others).
Remember that there are no more sexual predators than there have ever been - it's just that there are so many more means of communication that we hear about it more. Also, various agencies including the police have got better (on the whole) at catching offenders. Forensic investigation has come a very long way even in the past decade and that has a lot to do with that. Years ago children (and adults) slipped away without anyone noticing or without knowing how they disappeared.
This has nothing to do with gender either. In terms of personal safety young men within the 18-24ish age bracket are at a far greater risk of being a victim of violent crime than any other group. Every single person who dies as a result of violence, whatever their age or gender, is someone's child, grandchild or sibling. A parent feels the pain no less keenly just because their 'child' died as an adult. I remember seeing two distraught parents on TV a couple of years ago who found out on Christmas Day that their 18 year old daughter had been killed. It was just after my DS was born and i could not shake the image of their faces for weeks afterwards.
Ultimately the world is still a good place with many more good people in it than bad. If I didn't believe that I would not have brought my DS into it.
The world is the same as it always was. It is no more dangerous than it was two generations ago. My MIL was nearly abducted around 1930. Most little girls who lived at that time were not abducted and people now look back at those times as an era of innocence.
These cases are horrific. But they are really very few and far between. The chances of them happening to any one of us are really very, very small. It is not worth spoiling your precious time with your dd by worrying about it.
And in some ways, the world has been made safer for children: there is more awareness of sexual predation, children are encouraged to speak to adults about odd behaviour, they are taught what to do and, most importantly, adults are taught to listen. Many predators got away with it in the past because adults didn't listen.
You parent your children properly. Both sexes.
It doesn't mean that they will avoid encounters with abusers and exploiters, but that they will have some of the tools necessary to challenge them, to know what to do next and to always come to you if they find that they are overwhelmed by events or confused about what's happening around them.
Horrible to think that your child might be a victim, but also horrible to think that your child may become an abuser or a facilitator in the abuse of others.
Those men who abused all those girls ,surely justice shld prevail
It is scary but take into account that the girls involved in the abuse at the hands of organised gangs tend to be highly vulnerable and known to social services or in care (according to the local news report I saw last year)
That's how these gangs get away with it for so long, manipulating and controlling these poor children.
So for you personally, with a child that, I assume, is in a stable home and family, then you guide and educate your child and protect them that way.
Children in care need the extra protection from their carers, to ensure the scummy predators can't worm their way in.
As for the Tia/April case, I don't think these situations are on the increase, unfortunately such things will always happen and it is hard to strike a balance between freedom/trust/safety. You can't walk around in a bubble unfortunately.
A good starting point is basic personal safety, clear boundaries and ensuring our children are aware of what is appropriate, what isn't and that if they are unsure they come to us as parents who can decide for them.
Hard isn't it .
Wise words Pacific. Having kids is scary - I never knew how much so until my DD was born.
It would help to not have ENDLESS tv dramas glamourising the murder of women.
Like the Fall last night. Surely there must be at least ONE other plot line available to writers - and no not then the murder of a child instead
And I don't actually think the world is any worse than it has always been, but news travels faster and sells more. Bad news in particular...
That's to AF and Nehru.
Still does not hurt to have strong girls and woman with a sense of self-worth.
its the same as saying to an abused woman
" why doesn't she leave?"
well why the fuck doesn't he stop?
what Nehru said
educating our daughters is a waste of time in isolation
The 'shutting up and listening' bit is intended for verbal children - crying babies sometimes necessitate ear plugs IME...
i think you have the question all wrong
it should be
"how do we stop these men?"
Teach them respect, for themselves and for others.
Teach them self-worth.
Teach them that it is ok to say 'no' to all sorts of things.
Give them a good education.
Listen to them. Shut up, and listen.
Do not teach them fear.
All of the above is what I intend to teach my boys too btw.
Yes, the world is scary, but also fabulous and fun and exciting.
Having kids is scary tbh .
Most people are good people. The news is news because it's unusual.
My dd is 22mo and I think the same. It's a terrible world we live in at the moment!
So it seems the news lately has been one horrific abuse story after another- those poor girls in America, April Jones, Tia, and now another street grooming case this time in Oxford. I'm panicking already about how I'm going to protect my 3 month old beautiful baby girl. It's a big scary world out there.
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