Episode Details: Season 1 Episode 2
Topic: Keeping Our Kids Safe
Duration: 29 minutes
In this episode, moms discuss how they talk about body safety and abuse with their children, why it’s so important, and what other measures they take to safeguard their children in an increasingly complicated world.
By now, you must have heard of the Me Too movement which swept across India recently. As stories of abuse in different forms began to be told, we, as parents, no doubt started to wonder about our own children and their safety. The Me Too movement shone a spotlight on the fact that abuse could happen to both sexes, that it could come from people we knew and trusted, including relatives or teachers. Whom, then, can we trust? While the obvious reaction is to get scared and try to protect children by keeping them close, the truth is, our children are going to go out into the world someday. So what’s the best way to overcome our fears and know that we’ve done everything in our power to keep them safe? How do we educate and empower ourselves as well as our children to deal with a world which has its dark side?
Coming from a country where sex is rarely spoken about, especially with parents, we are in unchartered, unfamiliar territory when it comes to initiating these conversations with our children. Our parents probably didn’t even discuss puberty, let alone abuse! So initiating these conversations requires us to do our share of research, and sometimes fight our own conditioning and awkwardness. Given that, is there merit in talking about this? If so, at what age do you talk about this to your children? What do you even say? We hope that you will find it useful to hear other moms’ perspectives, and some of the things they tell their children.
For this panel, we invited mothers with varying experiences. A mother of twin boys who conducts sex education workshops at schools, Namrata Sadhvani is vocal about the need to embrace feminism and fight stereotypes. According to her, objectification of women and messaging to girls that they may need protection, or be more fragile, forms part of the problem. She talks about the responsibility involved in parenting boys to believe in equality and respect, and shares some of the messaging they use at home and in her workshops.
Shalu ‘The Dreamer Mum‘ also has twins… girls! As someone who has always been very vocal about her support for the Me Too movement, she talks about the importance of speaking freely and giving our children the vocabulary with which to know what is normal and what isn’t. Her straightforward take on what she herself says to her girls and how it’s necessary to do so will no doubt help in forming your own conversations with your children.
Since both Namrata and Shalu have older children who are capable of understanding these conversations, we also invited a different take from Disha who has a just-turned-two year old. What can you do to keep a child who’s so much younger safe? Is there a way to start messaging about consent and unsafe touches? These are some of the topics she explores with Namrata and Shalu using their experience to guide her.
This is raw territory for so many of us, and we’re all learning. If there’s anything you’d like to ask our panelists, or any tips/experiences of your own that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments. Or, if you’d like to remain anonymous, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the video recording of the podcast below.
If you’d prefer to just listen to the audio while you multitask, here’s the audio-only version of Episode 2.