It’s time to get real about parenting. The Steubenville case, where two teens were recently convicted for sexually assaulting a helpless intoxicated 16 year-old girl at a party and instead of others helping, they videotaped and photographed the acts, is a reminder that girls are devalued in our culture. From movies, music, to television women are just sexual objects to be used for gratification and entertainment. But we can’t put all the blame on the media.
Parents, it’s time to talk to our daughters about valuing themselves. We have to empower our girls to value and protect themselves. The 16 year-old victim from West Virginia is a victim. She didn’t deserve what happened to her. But there are things even she would admit she could’ve done differently. It’s not about pointing fingers. It’s about saving other girls from this victim’s horrible experience.
It’s time parents have real talks with their daughters about partying. We can no longer pretend that if we don’t talk about it, it won’t happened. Truth is drinking puts your daughter at an increased risk of teen pregnancy, STDs, violence including rape, vehicular accidents because of her inability to make good decisions while under the influence. Your daughter cannot make sound decisions when she’s under the influence of alcohol. She can’t remember the values you’ve taught her when she’s intoxicated, and she can’t protect herself. It’s time to warn our girls about the dangers of drinking and the importance of valuing themselves.
Tell her: You teach others how to treat you. If you’re not good to you, no one else will be. If you don’t respect yourself, no one else will. Alcohol and good decisions don’t mix. If you choose to drink at parties, you make yourself an easy prey to violence. Stay sober. Stay close to good friends with similar values. Demand respect and stay away from people and places that don’t value you.