I love when I find those teachable moments. All three of my kids absolutely love Rhiana and also know who Chris Brown is. And they know what's going on with the couple. Yesterday Rhiana announced that, even though the couple is back together, she will testify against him if required to do so.
I have to admit I was saddened to see Rhiana go back to Chris Brown. Psychologists and domestic abuse experts can tell her that unless he gets help it will happen again. I wonder what issues from her past have led her to decide to take back someone who would abuse her.
Some parents might be reluctant to talk about the Rhiana case with their daughters and sons but it's important. Unfortunately there are many kids out there who don't understand the magnitude of Chris Brown's actions. They're still playing his music and he is nominated for best male singer at the 2009 Nickelodean Kid's Choice Awards. Granted, he was nominated before the attack on Rhiana but it will be interesting to see how he fares with his tween and teen fans.
Our children's self-esteem needs to be built up from the day they are born. They need to understand they are special and wonderful and nothing they could ever do or say justifies being physically or psychologically abused. Often we teach our kids to respect adults. But when an adult is improperly touching them or abusing them in any way and demands their silence they need to know that they can and should defend themself in any way possible and tell the proper authorities. They need to know this includes teachers, neighbors, relatives and even clergy. The slogan "Just Say No" absolutely rings true for this issue. Our daughters especially need to be instilled with self-confidence at an early age to help them deal with the tremendous amount of peer pressure that starts in elementary school and carries over into college and beyond.