Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Promise To Little Girls Everywhere


I feel like every time I watch or read the news I learn about yet another young girl being raped. As if the crime of rape isn’t bad enough these young girls have to deal with all of this in an age of technology where word spreads fast along with pictures and videos, text messages, tweets, Facebook status updates etc. It’s awful. It makes me sick.

If you follow my blog you already know I have two boys. I can’t tell you have often I hear; oh boys are so much easier, be happy you have boys. I have always found this to be a weird statement. First of all I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I would love a daughter to throw into the mix of our family no matter how hard girls may actually be. Secondly why, why are girls so much harder? Okay take away the obvious reasons of clothes, PMS and attitude, but I think raising kids these days whether boys or girls is hard, if you are doing it right.

Rape like any crime bears the question of how do we prevent it? How do we fix this seemingly growing problem and protect our girls and women from it ever happening to them? I can’t claim to know the solution but as the mother of two boys I am writing this letter to young girls everywhere and I sure do hope it helps.

Dear Little Girls everywhere,

I am a mom. I was once a little girl who grew into an awkward teenager and eventually into a confident woman. I am now a mom of two young boys. If I do nothing else right in this life I promise you this:

 I promise to raise two boys into men who respect you. I promise to teach them to protect you from those who may not always respect you. I promise to teach them to lead rather than follow. To know right from wrong and to stand up for you no matter how scary it may be to do so. I promise to teach them that taking or sharing inappropriate pictures, videos or rumors about you is wrong and that the camaraderie they may feel with their male peers for mere minutes or hours will never compare to the lack of sleep they will have for the rest of their lives knowing how wrong this decision was.

I will teach them that it only takes one wrong decision to completely alter the outcome of your life. They will know that it is never okay to laugh at your expense or to ignore your need for help in order to protect their reputation.  I will teach them that their mother was once a young girl just like you and that hurting you would be like hurting me. I will teach them that love is real, and when it’s real it is awesome. I will teach them that they deserve love just like you deserve love. I will teach them that love does not exist without respect. I will teach them to hold doors open for you, and to look you in the eyes when they speak to you. I will teach them to never even think about beeping a car horn for you but to instead get out of the car go up to the door and meet your parents. I will teach them to call you to ask you out on a date instead of sending a text message. I will teach them that talking to you like one of the guys is the best way to ruin any kind of love that could have grown between you.

I promise to teach them that you can in fact be friends (and you should be) and your love will be so much better for it. I will teach them to allow you to be you and never make you feel like you have to be someone else.  I will tell them that no matter what you say, if you have been drinking they are not to touch you in any inappropriate way. They are to bring you home and tell you to sleep well.

I will teach both of my boys that girls are not objects, but human beings. You are human beings who deserve to be treated with respect. You deserve to be protected and loved. I will teach them that one day they may have a daughter and what they do now will affect them later.

I promise I will do my part as a mother of boys to make sure that rape is not okay. I will raise boys into men who know that in no way shape or form is a criminal act upon you okay EVER. I promise I will raise two boys who your father will be happy you are dating. Trust me this in and of itself is huge. I will never stop teaching them all of this and I hope that all parents of boys will step up and do the same.

Sincerely,
A dedicated mother of boys



34 comments:

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    1. As a mom raising 2 boys also, i second this! Great job Cous, once again!

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  2. This post is exactly why every time one of my friends has a boy I am relieved to think that they will bring them up well and that my daughter will be in a world with a few more good men in it. And now that I have a son too I absolutely feel that responsibility as well. Brilliant and beautiful post - good luck on your journey, your boys are blessed!

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    1. Thank you. My boys have blessed me so it's important to me that I return the blessing and raise them well. It's the most important job I've ever had. :)

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  3. I, too, am the Mom of two boys. I hope I've done all you're trying to do. Now it's up to them.

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    1. You are absolutely right Karen. As moms we do our very best to provide the foundation and then it's up to them to go into the world and decide who they want to be.

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  4. As a mother of three girls and grandmother of three little girls...and one boy, I thank you. It's good to know that there is a mum of boys out there (and I pray you are not alone) who will not think "Thank God I've got boys. It will be someone else's problem to keep the girls safe."

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    1. It's my promise and I will keep it. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

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  5. This is beautiful. I swear my husband is the great man he is because of his mom and the way his dad treats his mom. My husband treats me so well and my boys will grow up seeing that. I def second this letter for my boys!

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    1. Marcia thank you and I couldn't agree more having your boys see how well their father treats you is the best place to build that foundation for them. We have that here too. :)

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  6. This is beautiful. I swear my husband is the great man he is because of his mom and the way his dad treats his mom. My husband treats me so well and my boys will grow up seeing that. I def second this letter for my boys!

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  7. This is both brilliant and beautiful. We definitely have a heavy hand in who they turn out to be. Keep up the great work, mama! They'll be sure to make you proud!

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    1. Thanks Jen! I have great faith in the new generation of boy mama's xoxo

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  8. I have tears in my eyes. I'll join in your promise to raise a son who will respect women. On behalf of my daughter, I'll say thank you.

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    1. That means so much to me. I love that you will join me in this promise and have the added perspective of having a daughter. Smalls steps create great change.

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  9. Tears here, too. My favorite line was "...that love is real, and when it’s real it is awesome." Wow, Outsmarted Mommy, this really spoke to me. I promise to teach my son the same. Beautiful beautiful words. Truly.

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  10. Wonderfully and thoughtfully written. And just for the record, I think my daughter was easier to raise than my sons!

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    1. Thank you Lorinda! Good to know about your sons being harder. I'll put it in my memory bank because you just never know what the future holds. ;)

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  11. I am SO glad to meet you. That was beautiful. Now. I'm crawling back into the corner...Ug. death sucks. So much. But...<3. So much.

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    1. That comment made no sense. I'm trying to process the Boston news and it's so difficult. That was the Ug death sucks part. About your post, sometimes it seems like the parents of girls are the only families who discuss this. I love to hear my friends who are mothers of boys write about how they are trying to teach their boys to be good boyfriends, husbands, and fathers. I personally don't think I'd be very good at raising boys. I look at mothers with boys and just think you are so amazing. Thank you for that. Some day, your sons might meet my daughters. And they will be so fortunate to meet boys who were raised in homes like yours. <3

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    2. I'm right there with you trying to process all of this in Boston as well. My best friend from college is currently in lockdown in Watertown. I'm pacing the floors. Thank you for your beautiful comments on this post. I can only hope that I am able to be successful. :)

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  12. As the mother of two daughters....wow. This is just beautiful

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  13. Please hold while I print this out and hang it on my son's wall...

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    1. Excellent idea. I think I will print it out for my two as well.

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  14. This is a beautiful letter. I wish more parents would teach their sons to respect women. I wish society would stop using us as sex object... One day I hope all this will change.
    Thank you for hooking up to the Hump Day Hook Up again.

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  15. LOVE!!! We moms of boys need to stick together.

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  16. Wonderful letter. I have a boy and a girl, and I think both genders have their own challenges. I'm trying to teach both of my children all the things you talked about in your letter - to treat the person you care about or love with respect and decency, and to expect nothing less in return.

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  17. Perfect. Thanks for putting this into words. And thanks for being a mom who works so hard to teach her boys the important stuff. Wonderful!

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  18. A must read for any parent. Well done, Jennifer!

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  19. Yes, I feel a huge part of the problem with rape is how boys are taught to treat girls from an early age. The better we teach them, the safer the girls in their lives will be.

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