What happens if someone you don’t want to touch you touches you? You tell them to back off. And if they keep doing it, you go above them. Maybe involve someone in a position of power, perhaps authorities, if the situation calls for it. But what happens if nothing is resolved. Do you take matters into your own hands? Now, what if it’s your child, your daughter? The same rules apply, albeit different circumstances. Right?
Writer Mandi Castle took to her blog to share a story about her six-year-old daughter. The first-grader recently confessed to her mom that she was bullied by some boys at school. They were chasing her on the playground and were bugging her, but since Castle knew her girl had a flair for the dramatic, she simply told her not to play with them and figured that was the end of that. But when her daughter mentioned it again that evening, Castle delved deeper.
“She went on to say that some boys were hitting her butt on the playground, and when she told them to stop, they called her ‘chubby’ and laughed at her,” wrote a furious Castle, adding that her daughter “told the teacher, the teacher told them to stop, but they didn’t.”
Mom and daughter further discussed how “inappropriate and unacceptable it was/is” and she did the “right thing by telling the teacher.” That’s when her little girl put her head down and said, “Tomorrow, I’m just going to hide at recess.”
It’s enough to make you cry. But that’s not what Mandi did. Instead, the fierce mama bear responded in a way that all moms of daughters — and sons — should be cheering. She pulled her daughter close, looked deep into her eyes and said, “NO. You will not let two boys ruin your free time. You will not allow them to take your fun away. They are breaking the rules. If they do that tomorrow, you say ‘Keep your hands off of me.’ If they do not stop, you tell the teacher. If they continue to bother you, you turn around and step on their feet, or kick them in the shins or their business, and if you get in trouble, go ahead and tell your teacher to give me a call.”
Castle further explained to her daughter that she might end up in the principal’s office, but they would deal with that if and when the time came. Her ultimate goal though? To make sure her girl was “empowered to defend herself.”
But Castle wasn’t done. She turned her attention to her readers, pleading with them for this “boys will be boys” mentality to come to an end.
“Our boys are learning from us,” she wrote. “It is not innate that when a girl says no, they immediately go to calling her fat or ugly. This is learned behavior. Your job as a mother and as a father is to make sure your sons (and daughters) know better. I can tell you that if I learned that my son had touched a girl the way these boys touched my daughter or spoke to another child the way they did, there would be some serious consequences at our home. He knows better. He’s been taught to respect all people, all women, your daughters, so if he steps out of line there, I want to know.”
She concluded: “Parents, teach your sons (and daughters) that they are not entitled to touch anyone anywhere, that my daughter’s back side is not for their hands, that if they do put their hands on (MY) child, they will not get away with it because she will defend herself the best way she can.”
And if that’s a kick in the privates, so be it. We’re crying AND giving her a standing ovation right now. Because amen, sister!