17 July, 2013
This time it was a nightmare that did it. One of epic proportions, that stayed with me in a waking or dreaming state. Yeah, you’ve probably guessed by now, I’d had a letter from the Inland Revenue. It said;
Nothing to worry about or anything but we’re just conducting a teensy weensy investigation into your tax. Anything you wanna tell us?
Bye for now,
What to do? What to say?
As I lay awake worrying, I had the most fantastic idea. Ok, maybe I couldn’t make a Wonka Bar costume like last time I had insomnia. But, just by chance, I happened to have all the ingredients for a life-size parrot costume for Sami. Would that do the trick and help me put my worries aside? I decided to give it a go.
Four happy early morning hours of sticking and sewing (and swearing) flew by and the costume took shape. But, what also happened during my art and craft marathon, apart from make an unholy mess all over the kitchen, was my mind processed the whole tax thang. By the time I’d sorted out the costume, I’d also found a fantastic solution to the bigger problem too. I sat at my desk and wrote a calm, clear-headed reply to the Tax Man explaining the situation in full.
Then I went back to bed, for some calm, clear-headed rest.
Job done, problems resolved and sleep regained.
Doesn’t come any better than that, does it?
Dear Her Majesties Revenue and Customs
Thank you for your letter regarding the tax investigation.
Please find enclosed some photos of the parrot costume I made in response to your letter.
The receipts I’m missing form part of the wings and some of the elaborate tail-feather detail. Obviously, none have been included in the head or legs.
I hope that settles this matter to your full satisfaction. Feel free not to contact me ever again.
10 July, 2013
I won, I won,” I shouted at Asha. “Did you see me?”
Asha looked a bit confused. “I didn’t see you.”
“I was too fast, too fast for you to see.” I shouted, ecstatic.
“I saw you.” “Me too.” Chirped some happy little faces around him Asha beamed with pride. I’d done it, perhaps against the odds and I’d done it for him. He’d won his race and I’d won mine. Winners, yeah, I liked the sound of that and so did he.
I didn’t follow a rigorous training scheme but I did up my ambles to Costa in the last few days up to the big race. I also started having my coffee as a takeaway, which cut out the lengthy pit stop reading the papers. My diet remained the same (a bit more than I need), but psychologically is where I put in the hours. Yep, in my mind, convincing myself. It’s common technique used in sports training, visualization and motivation. I simply saw myself running up to Asha telling him I’d won, over and over again in my mind. I felt how great it felt, I saw his face and his utter joy. I was determined to make this dream come true. And I did.
Sami high-fived me when Asha told him. He was surprised (that boy underestimates me). Asha described the race, how I’d beaten Frankie’s mum and led from the front all the way.
“That’s amazing Mummy.” Sami said, with genuine amazement. He’s totally athletic, something we don’t often have in common, so it was good for him to know I can do it – when I want.
Asha and I raced home across the meadow, me pulling him back with his t-shirt so that I won again. When Amba got home, Asha could barely contain his joy.
“She won the mum’s race, Amba.” He shouted as he ran into the garden to get his bike. (He’d progressed to triathlon).
“What?” You won?” She said with (I have to say) a slightly sneery intonation.
“Did you even enter the mum’s race?” She asked, looking down her nose at me. “I don’t believe you won it.” She continued with jaw-dropping disrespect. “Did you really enter the mum’s race?”
Silence. I’d had enough of this.
She continued her cross examination, studying me intently.
Mrs Vaudrey, I put it to you, that on the day in question, not only did you not win the mums’ race, but that you knowingly did not even enter said race. (Gasps from around the court room).
“You didn’t enter it did you?” She said firmly.
I tried my hardest not to crack under the pressure, but the thing is with these barrister types, they get you all confused and then you blurt out the wrong thing.
“No.” I muttered.
“So, you went up to him after the race and told him you’d won. And he believed you, right?”
Me; “Er, yes, s’pose it was a bit like that. But you make it sound like I did something wrong?“
“You’re not allowed to lie and cheat at races.”
Amba: “No! You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Me: “Oh I am. And I’ll buy you an ice cream if you keep quiet?”
Amba: “Hmmm, double scoop with toppings and sauce.”
6 July, 2013
I’ve been thinking a lot about differing parenting styles, apparent in children in the playground and at parties. Sometimes it feels like we’re inundated with the selfy-helpy world of how-to-bring-up-your-kids. Having spent thousands of hours on facebook, er, researching child rearing, one day it struck me, I finally realised where I had been going wrong. It was one of those “aha” moments, that changes your life forever. Having tried my new approach out on more than two children, I can honestly say it’s totally amazing and it will change your life too. I call it the GeddityerselfTM method.
There are only two rules in GeddityerselfTM parenting. But they must be followed at all times. They are:
- Say no to “no”. Yes, that’s right we say no to saying no and we say yes to saying yes. We never ever say yes to saying no. No, we’d never do that. So if your child asks for something, you always say “Yes”. You can choose to that with an endearing term such as “darling”, “sweet child of mine,” or for a teenager, “mummy’s lickle lamb” (always goes down a treat).
- The second rule is that you always follow that “yes” with our second foundation mantra; Geddityerself TM.
This works with children of all ages. Here are a few examples;
Child: “Mum, can I have a drink?”
Mum: “Yes darling. Geddityerself TM”
Teenager: “Mum, can I have a car?”
Mum: “Yes, Geddityerself TM.”
Child: Can I have lunch?
Mum: “Yes, my love. Geddityerself TM.”
Child: “Can I have an allowance?”
Mum: “Yes, my lickle lamb. Gedditoffyourdad.”
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A. Nobel, Stockholm
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2 July, 2013
I’ve been at my third job today. I know, model, therapist and now I stagger you with yet another part time occupation. “How does she do it?” You cry. “Why-oh-why is she working herself to the bone, like this?” Believe me, I hear you. “And how can she possibly find time to sit around writing such eloquent diatribes on her blog?” Like I never always say, “Don’t cry for me Argentina.”
We haven’t discussed my third job before. Partly, because a lot of the work is confidential. I do an intense form of conflict/dispute resolution funded through government agencies. During these sessions I can be called upon to deal with property rights, harassment, bullying, emotional isolation, interpersonal conflict, issues of hierarchy, review boundaries, trouble shoot teams and deal with accidental and personal injury claims. Any number of issues come up, my role is to resolve them as many of them as possible, but with the brief that the satisfaction of both parties is the paramount consideration. Not for the faint-hearted? Too right, being a lunchtime supervisor in a primary school certainly has its challenges.
In interviewing me for the role, the line managers talked a lot about how important it was for the conflicts to be resolved satisfactorily, so the children could come back happily after lunch and learn. I came out with this highly inappropriate remark (hard to believe, eh?). I casually said; “The thing is, it’s the same few children every time.” The interviewer did pull me up on this, saying of course we didn’t want to stigmatize children. So, during the rest of the interview I sat daydreaming, wondering what on earth I’d been attempting to express. What I’d meant, was almost the opposite of what had come out (why does that happen so often). I’d actually meant that while the school wanted conflicts satisfactorily resolved; that’s seeing them as short-lived acute problems. The children who were repeatedly problematic, suffered not from a lack of discipline, but from more chronic playground problems. They were, in my experience, unable to learn from the conventional social and discipline structures in place. Hence they, the repeat offenders, defied a system that they were largely unaware existed. What we would call, “playground behaviour norms” is actually news-to-them, each and every time they find themselves in confrontation with those expected “norms”. What this means is, the same kids get into trouble for the same things, all the time.
Now, these kids might be described as aggressive, anti-social, lacking in boundaries, undisciplined, etc etc etc. These are the kids who answer back when an adult speaks, or worse still, continue speaking over that adult. These are the kids who sit outside classrooms and occupy the upper echelons of the excluded list. For example, on my first day in the playground, a 10 year old boy squared up to me, face to face. He was taut with tension, and fists up and clenched he threatened to punch me. (Luckily, he chose to attack an 11 year old boy standing next to me me, so I was ok everyone). Sounds bad? Well, this is not Tower Hamlets, this is not Hackney (sorry Tower Hamlets and Hackney you’re a cliché of your own distress now). We are not in area of extreme social deprivation, for god’s sake we’re in David Cameron’s idyllic Cotswold safe seat. We have free parking, Waitrose, and an immigration influx in the school of three middle-class Polish kids, who speak fluent English. Poverty round here means privately-owned, council houses. (Dear Maggie, she taught him everything he knows). So, what exactly is happening in the playground?
We’re back with the ole 80:20 rule. Hate to say it, but yes, 80% of playground conflict arises from about 20% of the children. But, the million dollar question is; who makes up the 20% of the badly behaved. In the school I’m talking about, it’s primarily the special educational needs (SEN) kids. Yep, the kids who see the world a little differently to the rest of us. The ones who don’t have very good interpersonal skills, are literal rather than literate; who don’t know how to manage their emotions, deal with conflict, cope with change, tolerate being teased, who can’t stand still and listen at the same time, or know when to shut-up because an adult is speaking. Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t massive problems of discipline in schools in other areas, I’ve heard about it too, knives in school and stuff. But, I am saying that the figures are skewed by the special needs kids. I think it’s also worth mentioning that special needs kids are not always formally assessed. So, many of the should-be SEN kids go without proper diagnosis, without proper support and the funding for Learner Support that comes with it. They are failing in dramatic ways throughout the system. In the UK in 2011, children with learning difficulties, behavioural problems and other disabilities accounted for 66% all of exclusions.
“The Department for Children Schools and Families maintain that the number of pupils with SEN who have been excluded is still disproportionately high: over two-thirds of all permanently excluded pupils have been identified as having SEN.”
(National Association of Head Teachers website).
The issue boils down to guess what? Policy. Yep, the UK policy for SEN moved house, out of specialist schools and into mainstream education inclusion. However, then the specialist budgets, resources, facilities, trained staff were not included in that move. It’s become a real problem in our educational system. All too many schools suffer a lack of sufficiently skilled staff to deal with the behavioural and educational needs of the SEN children. (And let’s remember that individual learning plans take time to write and time to teach – they’re called “individual” for a reason). If you’re interested, then there is a fascinating 75 page report by the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education; commissioned by the National Union of Teachers, called “The Costs of Inclusion”. It describes the burden teacher repeatedly face trying to discipline and educate children who they are simply not trained to teach, handle or restrain (in some cases). The one-size-fits-all approach to our education system, handed down from on high with Government and Ofsted glaring over the schools shoulders can often be another contributing factor. These children are not able to meet the marks required by the outside assessors. This is especially hard if they have not had a formal SEN assessment. In these cases, they can been seen as the failures in the system, because without a formal SEN assessment, no allowance is made for their grades and achievements that takes into account their actual abilities. No, they might not achieve a level 4 SAT exam, but they may have made profound leaps in their own educational spectrum. If they don’t make the mark (set from outside the schools) the schools can suffer downgrading. If those with a SEN assessment exceed expectations, the schools can lose the additional funding for Learning Support Assistants, which are then seen as no longer needed. Rock and a hard place for the schools, children and parents.
So, back to the ten year old threatening to hit me. He was with a group of well-behaved middle class boys in the year above. They were complaining about him freaking out at them. The had slightly hidden smirks, clearly, winding him up in subtle ways that he couldn’t cope with. He didn’t know how to express it, how to diffuse it, so he exploded and laid into one of the group, a boy I know well who, I do not consider a bully. If you look at this in terms of those conventional playground norms, we’re discussing, then yes, SEN kids was the aggressor and for threatening me alone, he could have faced suspension. But, I think we can all see who was really under attack here. It wasn’t me, or those able boys “having a laugh”, but clearly the child who would have faced the worst consequences for his “inappropriate” behaviour. This is how our exclusion and permanent expulsion rate is climbing in normal schools in the UK. These are the background stories explaining how staff are (sometimes) attacked by children. There are of course areas of great deprivation where it’s a different story altogether. But that’s the one that gets the glare of media attention. The majority of playground/school violence is not all done by 7 year old, knife wielding, sociopaths, selling heroin in the playground.
I couldn’t offer you a better final sentence than the closing lines of the Costs of Inclusion Report.
“The most striking aspect of this study is the goodwill of teachers who believe in inclusion and try to make it work but do not find their goodwill repaid by the level of professional support they deserve. It is time for a thorough review of policy and practice.”
Costs of Inclusion Report, University of Cambridge
30 June, 2013
I’ve been hearing on the grapevine about the Texas abortion vote this week. “D’ya know what I’m tawking bout?” (My texas drawl, good innit?). This thing has erupted like a goddam firework in a, er, firework factory. Y’all musta heard ‘bout it. So, what we gonna see-here do ‘about it?
Ok, enough inappropriate Texan drawl. No, there’s not point in begging me for more, I’m stopping it now.
I want to bring up a few points, in the great abortion debate. To summarize there are a few things that need to change (IMHO); they are;
- The pro-lifers
- The pro-choicers
- The single sexers
- The feminists
- The quiet ones no-ones listening to.
So, I’m just getting really tired of this and the attitudes that surround this. I think what’s going on is not helpful for anyone and all sides have to admit, they’re never going to get it all their own way.
So, let’s get on with it.
First pro-lifers. The pro-life-ers are dominated in the US by the Christian right. They don’t really exist to the same degree outside of American because, well honestly, they’re totally extreme. They have an extensive agenda for population control which is, on many issues, insane. Like, banning certain sexual preferences within consenting heterosexual marriage. I mean if they think they’re need to legislate sex in marriage, then just what do you think they’re going to do to control same sex relationships, minority religions, art, theatre, science, books and education? They are described as a western Taliban (by me). I have no problem with Christian denominations in the UK, I worked in interfaith for many years. But, based on four years of personal experience in the US, I have absolutely no time for the insane religious zealots, I encountered on a daily basis. You are damaging the debate on the rights of the foetus with your hatred. No one is going to come to you for help because you do not represent a genuine spiritual approach to this problem, or any other problem. Go home, read your bible and try to remember that people loved Jesus, not because he was holy and right, but because he was caring, tolerant and FORGIVING. He didn’t murder his opponents or throw bricks through their windows. Pro-lifers, learn to be human if you want to change humankind.
Now, Pro-Choice; they need to wake up to the year 2013 and accept they’re not living in 1967 anymore. They need to address the fact that medical advances have changed what we know about viability of the foetus/embryo/baby/zygote. Instead of shouting about incest and rape, let’s hear a reasoned discussion. Let’s include our knowledge and accommodate that within 50 year old abortion laws. Improvements in scanning and imaging (particularly 3D imaging) mean that we have far more understanding of what’s actually going on in the womb. Advances in medicine mean that the viability dates, have also changed. You can’t just ignore these issues and shout “incest/rape” anymore. You have to address them if you want to be taken seriously. If you’re just going to hang on to the fact that you won some legal precedents and are sticking to your guns or “rights” as you call them; hey, you can. But, you are behaving with the same dogma as the far right. Address our concerns, because we are concerned.
Same-sex community; Please step back from the front line of this debate. It is primarily (but not exclusively) a hetero/bi issue not a gay one. Please have opinions, do take a stance, but this is not your war. You have waged so many battles of your own, I don’t shout above you, telling you, I know best in those. Isn’t freedom to express yourselves over your lives, what you’ve fought so hard for? So, stand back a little and allow others to voice on this issue.
The feminists; the debate on abortion in terms of feminism has also changed, drastically in the last few years. I’m tired of hearing about the rights of women over their bodies. I think the rise in selective-sex abortions (where girls are aborted and boys kept) has turned the feminist abortion debate on its head. Birth rates of girls amongst immigrant communities in the UK (chiefly Chinese and Asian) have fallen far lower than normal variance. This medical community has published their suspicions of back-street selective sex abortions taking place. And the media have exposed this practice in some clinics. This is currently illegal in the UK. So, what’s going to happen? Are we going to legalise gender-biased abortions to prevent back-street abortions, which we all agree are so harmful and dangerous? What say yea, feminists? Are you ok with that? Because, I am not. I want to hear from you about how abortion is being used as a misogyonistic tool to cleanse us, women, from the population. Isn’t that an important feministic role in the abortion debate? Tell me, feminists, what are you proposing we do about this? It’s the biggest issue to come out of the abortion debate in years and you’re still harping on about a woman’s rights over her own body. Well, how about a man’s rights to force a termination his wife to a female foetus? I want to hear you speak about that. We live in 2013, the debate has moved on, when will you?
Lastly, I want to express the voices that aren’t heard in the great abortion debate. The zealots on all sides throw their sticks and stones, and shout each other down, but is anyone listening to the women of experience? The ones who’ve had abortions? There have been nearly 5 million abortions performed since 1967, that’s a lot. So why, I ask you, aren’t more women discussing them? Haven’t you notice that we chat openly over coffee about our eating disorders, our relationships, our bodies, sex, how we fail our children. But, if you’ve listened carefully, you might have noticed, we rarely discuss abortion.
This, the collective voice of experience, is the silent majority who need to be heard. It doesn’t compare experiences. Why is that? It’s because for many, the real voice of abortion, can’t talk about it in public. Many can’t talk about it in private either. No, before you post your vociferous comments, I’m not saying everyone. The problem is, that the voice of experience that we currently hear, is mostly those who are ok with the process. And in that sense, the represent themselves, but they do not represent a balanced picture of the whole.
Many silent others have had to close the book on that experience, out of trauma and guilt. They don’t want to relive it by talking about it. I’ve heard them, it’s my job to listen, and to heal some of the emotional scars cleft deep across their memories. Post traumatic stress from a late termination. (If you don’t know what a late termination is, then I suggest you educate yourself, before you voice an opinion on it). No many get through one of those unscathed. Infertility, an observed problem after abortion, another response of a troubled body and mind.
If my daughter came home and said she’d taken the morning after pill (er, when she’s older), I’d have a chat with her about being careful and responsible. If she came home having had an abortion, I’d hold her and take time to care for her in a completely different way. Recognise, these are not the same things. Abortion is not always a simple means of correcting conception.
I’m concerned about real women in the abortion debate. I’m concerned that women are rushed through the process and not given support they need to successfully recover. The far right wants to throw emotional bricks through their windows. So unkind. The far left tell them, “you’ll walk out of clinic, problem gone in a couple of hours”. For some, so untrue. Same sex community, do you feel like we feel? I don’t claim to share your feelings, can you know ours? Feminists, you stick to your guns, your rights, but that doesn’t make you right.
A crucial component is being ignored in this violent debate. Are we willing to stop the fight and let these silent voices be heard?
29 June, 2013
“It’s some kind of make-over day,” Gina explained on the phone, “fish pedicure, massage beds, lunch, make up, hair-do and they take our photo at the end.
“Are you sure it’s free?” I ask, my voice laden with suspicion.
Gina: “Yes, they only charge if we book and don’t show up.”
Me: “So is there a booking fee?”
Gina: “No. I won it, says it’s worth £300. Weirdly, I won it once before. I asked my sister to come last time, but she said she didn’t want her photo taken with me.”
A couple of weeks later we found ourselves in a beautiful Georgian building in Cheltenham, sipping “bubbly” (hey, Cava has bubbles). Momentarily, I was alone, Gina had nipped off to the loo and the Twiglet-like staff (skinny and tanned) were busy. I got up and pocketed the £2 coin I’d spied on the floor across the room. Oh yeah, I thought, I could get used to this.
Our first treatment, a fish pedicure was going great, till I put my feet in the tank. The fish leapt on it, delicacy that it was for them. Unfortunately, this released a dormant childhood trauma within my brain. Suddenly, my fear-of-being-eaten-by-sea-creatures was back and I was freaking out. Twiglet was looking at me like I was nuts and Gina just ignored me. (She works for a mental health charity, so she knows the importance of staying calm around psychotics).
I sat quietly doing a bit of self-healing and managed to ease my feet back into the tank, where a couple of fish chewed my heels.
Me: “They’re not very hungry, are they?”
Gina: “No, not that many of them in there either are there?”
Me: “Why are they all in such a huge swarm in that corner?”
Gina: “Is that a dead fish they’re fighting over?”
I watched enthralled, till Gina scooped it out with a net. She dumped it’s tiny corpse on the teak side table.
“Put it in the bin.” I said
Gina: “No, they might want to see it.”
They didn’t. A Twiglet arrived, took one look at the fish and in a trembling voice said, “I don’t do fish”, and legged it out of the room.
We lay on some electric massage tables for a while, then were taken upstairs to “hair and make up”; where there were two new Twiglets, one each. I looked down at the vast array of products in front of me. Like a teenage girl’s dressing table, it was a total mess. I noticed the make up brushes were used and unwashed. How many greasy faces had they smeared with foundation, I wondered. I felt a bit sick, but I let her get on with her “craft”. A chatty hour later, we both had amazing hair and Gina bore a new, uncanny resemblance to Cher. Her “old” face had been completely hidden behind a slightly orange mask of thick concealer and even thicker foundation. Looking in the mirror at the end, Gina gasped a little too loudly, “Oh my god, I look awful.” A moment of awkward silence ensued, then we were escorted on to the next room, by yet another Twiglet.
“Did you bring lots of outfits?” Twig asked.
“Er, no, I didn’t realise it was a photo-type thing.” I replied. I was wearing jeans and purple top. Casual, comfortable and cheap. Twig looked shocked and disappointed. We entered the dressing room and I understood why. The walls were adorned with photos of ordinary people, in extraordinary fake poses, dressed in evening attire; ball gowns, strapless dresses and all that.
Our photographer “Sam”, had had a camera since he was thirteen, he told us. And he felt lucky to do what he really loved, fashion photography. Within minutes Gina and had posed together hugging, then back to back, touching the side of matching aviator sunglasses , under a Minnie Mouse umbrella, leaning against walls, wearing hats, hugging our knees. Sam went through the motions with all the enthusiasm of someone who does this by rote, all day, every day. “Wow, you’re really getting this modelling thing.” He said to me, with zero conviction, he was wrong. I wasn’t into it, I was too busy wondering how much the photos would cost.
Our last stop was to browse the photos on a giant screen as our host (Ms Hard Sell) got us some drinks. There was another embarrassing moment when she returned and found Gina photographing the giant screen with her iphone. So, Gina deleted the photos and then Ms Hard Sell could begin. In the end neither of us wanted a joint photo. I got one of me and she got two of her, for her mum.
Finally at 6.30pm, we escape the Twiglet tower.
“So do you wanna go out for a drink?” asked Gina.
I was considering finding a karaoke joint and get Gina singing “Do you believe in life after love,” so we could get free drinks. Problem was, she was driving.
“Could do,” I reply. “Or we could go round my mum’s and wash it off?”
“Thank god you said that,” replied Cher.
28 June, 2013
The kids got “Stranger Danger” education at school this week. Making sure no one gets into a car with a stranger, or worse still, accepts any sweets. We discuss this type of thing quite frequently at home. This is in part, probably due to my job. I encounter, on a far too frequent basis, the results of childhood sexual abuse. And also the fact that they spend a lot of time away from me at weekends, often in situations which I’m not terribly happy about – at pubs and parties with people I don’t even know.
There are only estimates for the number of children sexually abused in the UK. It’s largely unreported, in fact, I can’t even remember ever having a client who has reported it to any authorities – other than maybe telling a parent, who ignored them. Estimates put the figure for girls at 1 in 4, and for boys 1 in 6. Sad-to-say, but it sounds about right to me. The incidence of abuse rise with added risks of alcohol, drugs and multiple partners.
I have a friend who worked with a group of pedophiles. (I should probably point out she was a social worker). They told her an interesting thing. That when they’re hanging-out around the schools, it’s not the kids they’re looking at. They’re looking for the vulnerable parent who is going to give them access to a child. Feel vulnerable? To be honest I used to, especially as a single parent, but this made me feel a whole lot better about it. Not being the vulnerable parent, with the vulnerable kids – yeah, that one I could manage. So my children’s education began at a fairly early age. We have frank discussions about all sorts of things. We talk about situations, strangers, so-called “friends”; we discuss tactics and have a good laugh about it too. But, I always teach them how to deal with each situation. So they’ve been armed with responses, rather than trapped in the headlights of blind panic.
But, I also put perspective in there. I don’t let them listen to the news, with it’s terrifying stories about children being abducted or killed. I’ve always thought it’s scaremongering. There were 72 child abductions by strangers, in the UK last year (er, that’s about 64 more than I thought, actually). But, more frighteningly, there were 375 attempted abductions by strangers. A lot more than I thought. However, let’s compare this total number, 447, to the overall rate of abuse of our young people. Let’s say, (purely) for numerical sake, abuse happens between the ages of 6 and 15. That would be an estimated 750,000 girls and 500,000 boys being sexually abused right now, in the UK. The 447 child abductions are clearly the extreme, visible end of the problem; but not the predominating perpetrators.
A client once said, “When are we going to face up to the fact that our children are at most risk from someone we know and trust, not strangers.” Her words stayed with me, because she was right. Collectively, we’re still in denial about who abuses our children. And in that respect, we continue to fail them. When are we going to really educate our children how to speak up if a grandfather, step dad or brother enter their room at night, when mum is asleep? Are we going to teach them how to cope with threats of everyone knowing “the dirty things you’ve done”? Will our children get an assembly on that? There is very little on the internet when it comes to talking about family abuse, but massive resources to protect from them from strangers. Are we teaching practical measures for children with this problem, other than, “tell someone”. Surely, we can find more ways to help rid these children of their nightmares?
Back to “Stranger Danger”;
Me: “So what did they say? Don’t take sweets from strangers?”
Sami: “Yeah. Showed us a video. But, of course we’d all take the sweets, we just wouldn’t get in the car.”
Amba: “Yeah, grab ‘em and run, really fast.”
Me: “Er, I think when you put your arm out for the sweets, that’s when they grab you.”
Sami: “Really! They didn’t tell us that. Everyone in my class is gonna take the sweets.”
Amba; “Yep, my class too.”