I have spent the entire morning listening to the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She was impressive. She was obviously nervous and really didn’t want to be there. The traumatic event she suffered leads me to a question:
With the vast amount of sexual abuse that has been paraded in front of us as citizens, what are we teaching our children about morality? What are we teaching them about taking responsibility for their actions? What are we teaching them about acceptable and unacceptable behavior when there is no adult supervision?
It is obvious that the students involved in, not only the drinking and inappropriate activity at the gathering Dr. Ford attended back then, but the lack of supervision we as adults grant our teenage children puts all of them in danger. Proverbs 22:15 says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” I know what the law says. I know what the psychologists say: “Any form of punishment is abuse.” I do not advocate beating a child senseless. Neither does the Bible. But I can tell you that every person I have ever met who was raised with spankings on the but, administered with self-control and love, has grown up to be a responsible citizen.
What do we teach our children about morality? Do we tell our teens that it’s okay to experiment with drinking, drugs, and sex during these years when their emotions are in control rather can common sense? Or do we teach them during these formative years that there are appropriate and inappropriate actions, and that all of our actions, our choices, come with consequences. Good choices generally result in good consequences. Poor choices tend to result in negative, sometimes very painful consequences. Some consequences can last a lifetime. We need to teach our children that every individual, regardless of age or circumstance, owns the conseqences for their decisions.
Our daughters need to be taught that teenaged boys have but two or three things on their minds at that stage of life: sports, sex, and academics (academics sometimes). So as parents we should always try to be sure that our children are not engaged in underaged drinking, drugs, or attending parties/gatherings where there is no adult supervision. They are not adults; they are teenagers. Know the friends and families of the people with whom your child hangs out.
Teach your daughters to be aware of who is around them when they are going to a bathroom in someone else’s home. If possible, she should have another girl go with her, even if the other girl will have to wait outside the bathroom. Safety in numbers. Tell your daughters how teenaged boys think about flirty actions, tight clothing, thin material and low-cut necklines. Teen boys are just as hormonal as girls and will take any little detail as a sign that the girl is interested in sex. They know the right words to say to get what they want. Tell your daughters that, even when dating, it’s best to be just friends, to set boundaries so they don’t get more involved than they are able to handle.
We’ve all been teens before. If we put ourselves in the shoes of our teen kids, we might remember that parental or adult presence is crucial in order to avoid broken hearts, unwanted pregnancies, STD’s, and perhaps sexual assault. Teach them to use the buddy system: never go to a party where the teen doesn’t know a large number of people in attendance. Teach them not to go in a room alone with a boy. No matter what he says, he only has one thing on his mind.
I’m not saying it’s ever the girl’s fault when she is assaulted. What I am saying is that most of the time it can be avoided if precautions and awareness are practiced. There are way too many women who have been abused in our world. Let’s put an end to it, or at least minimize the risk.
There will always be some circumstances when the practices above are impossible to implement, especially as grown women who often have to travel alone. But we can reduce the risk.