Yes! Yes!! YES!!!
Is the simple, yet vital, message.
I have a couple of teenage sons who frequently mix with their ‘friends who are girls’. Call them a girlfriend and World War Two breaks out “she’s not my girlfriend” gets bellowed back like a teenage foghorn! I know what I’m doing and I know the response I’m going to get but hey, you gotta get your jollies where you can right!?!
It’s not enough that we display respect in the house to each other as parents.
It’s not enough that we are forever inviting their ‘friends who are girls’ to come round for tea and talk to them respectfully.
It’s not enough to enquire how is ‘she’, or “it’s been a while since we’ve seen her”.
We want the talk. We need the talk and we will have the talk. The talk about respect, the talk about precautions and the talk about consent!
Like it or not we are going to have that discussion. We will not hide behind veils of “we trust them to make the right decision” or “we respect their privacy”. We are going to have that talk because it needs to be had and quite frankly it can’t happen young enough or often enough.
Obviously in our house there are a few ‘sweeties’ lying around, like growing up in a candy store, so there’s no need for them to visit the chemist, however, apart from that it’s as tricky to have the chat here as it is in any household. They don’t want to have ‘the chat’, these days it’s not just the health implications chat. In light of recent events on the news its also important to have the ‘consent’ chat which may have fallen by the wayside in recent times. When I was younger it was AIDS that took the headlines, now its consent.
Anyway, we’re about to have ‘The Chat’ wish me luck!