If you’re the parent of a teenager (or someone who’s old enough to want to act like one), this weekend you might just be sending them off to a Homecoming, or an Autumn Festival, or an Enchantment Under The Sea dance. It’s that time of year when kids don their finest finery, exchange floral arrangements, and stand around the punch bowl, real classy like.
They also tend to launch their hyperkinetic, sweaty bodies at each other.
Preparing for a three-hour hormone sauna like this presents the perfect opportunity for parents and kids to talk about setting and respecting social boundaries and personal space. There is common sense, the effects of alcohol and drugs, and the understanding of consent, but also the support and education of each other, the questions, the consequences, all of which should be discussed early and often.
Given the plethora of celebrities who have spoken out, it’s likely your kids have asked questions about Harvey Weinstein and his decades of sexual predation. He has offered the excuse that he “came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.” Which is pure nonsense. He was a powerful man who was ironically weak and pathetic enough to wield it over others in the most reprehensible ways possible. (And as Terry Crews will tell you, when it comes to sexual assault, power has nothing to do with size.)
Our kids are coming of age in the 2010s, and we dads can ensure that the rules of behavior and workplaces are clearly defined. An open and ongoing dialogue with our kids can lead to better understanding and accountability, not to mention safety and fun for everyone.
Now, let’s dance!
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- “Survival Guide for the Twos and Threes” by Chris Bernholdt is packed with helpful information for your parenting pleasure.
- Alan Gable wants every kind of dad to know, “I Am For You,” and that no one is alone.
- In “What I Hope Cam Newton Teaches His Son About Girls And Sports,” Christopher Lower compares two routes from the quarterback.
- Nic Casey is angry, and says recent tragedies in America are “Too Close.”
- A reminder that “Parents Need Each Other’s Encouragement More Than Each Other’s Criticism,” from Beau Coffron.
While we regret that this new series—part of a Sesame Workshop initiative providing free online reading materials, games and other activities helping kids and caregivers to better deal with traumatic experiences—is necessary, we thank Sesame Street for recognizing a need and addressing it as only they can:
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Photo: Paramount Pictures