Challenging #outdated ideas can make a real difference

One thing that has been particularly powerful in the White Ribbon campaign over the past two years is the strength of the youth voices who have taken part. It is so important that we listen and learn from their experiences.

Charlie Simpson shared a powerful story last year that we really want to highlight. He spoke about a foster child who joined his family and the impact of his upbringing on his interaction in the family at the beginning. It is sad to hear there are still children being exposed to #outdated ideas like “men should be the boss” and “boys don’t cry” and learn about the impact those ideas have on a child.

However, the most powerful part of Charlie’s story is the change that occurred when his foster brother joined their family and saw new positive attitudes and ways of expressing his feelings. It highlighted the potential for change. We are not stuck with #outdated ideas and #unspoken rules. We can change and our kids will adapt. His story really emphasized the importance of being good role models for our kids.

If an idea is no longer fit for purpose, it is time to find a better way. No parent is perfect. We all have the potential to be better and do better with our kids. It is great to hear of an example of that capacity for change and it is clear that the young boy in the story will have a future with healthier relationships now that those #outdated ideas have been discarded for ones that support respectful relationships, where partners treat each other as equals and can openly express their emotions.

We have a number of toolboxes that may be helpful and while some like “Raising boys who respect”, mention a specific gender in their title they are appropriate for both girls and boys.

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