Continuing the Conversation Blog
Three Questions Matt Lauer Should Ask His Children
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
I wonder what Matt Lauer told his son? Where does a father begin to explain to his first-born, sixteen-year-old that he was inappropriate with women—that he used his powerful position to violate them?
I don’t know Lauer’s background. I don’t know what his mother or father did or didn’t teach him. Did his father model respect towards his mother? Did his mother demand the respect of her husband or other men, or did she believe she wasn’t worthy of it? Maybe Mr. Lauer had exemplary parents, but insisted on acting on his own impulses and ignored everything he’d been taught?
What I do know is Matt Lauer has a daughter—a precious daughter. And I wonder how he will explain this to her.
My heart aches for his children.
Our headlines are giving us all teachable moments. Step into the conversation with your sons and daughters. The only regret you’ll ever have is that you didn’t.
Here are three questions to begin the ongoing conversation: (Download our FREE PDF of these questions.)
“I know you’ve been hearing on the bus, on social media, or on TV about all these men being fired for inappropriate sexual behavior with women, men, boys, and girls.”
1. “Tell me what you’ve heard?” Find out what they know and what they understand. Listen.
2. “How would you respond if someone, a pastor, a relative, or a family friend (Use specific labels, but not names—perpetrators could be anyone and children need to know that.) made you feel uncomfortable in that way—they spoke to you about your body or someone else’s body or showed you pornography?” A perpetrator will often test his or her victim. If a child or adult will tolerate talk, they may tolerate actions. Explain this to your child. “No one. No one has the right to speak to you inappropriately.”
3. “What would you do if a boss, a teacher, or a coach (Tailor these labels to fit your child’s connections—a soccer coach, a music teacher, a boss at McDonald’s...) asked you to touch them inappropriately or attempted to touch you inappropriately?” Create an exit strategy together. We told our children they could always be suddenly sick, and we would come immediately, that bathroom doors have locks—run to one if you need to or, to immediately escape to a group—there is safety in numbers. Be creative. No One. No one has the right to take your child’s innocence away. NO ONE.
I don’t know how Matt Lauer is explaining his behavior to his children. But I hope, after he’s done, he asks them the questions listed above.
Talking about sexual abuse with your kids won’t take their innocence away.
But sexual abuse left alone in secret and silence will.
Protect their todays. Protect their tomorrows. You can do this mom and dad. And we can help.
Carolyn Byers Ruch is the founder of Rise and Shine Movement and author of the children’s books, Ana’s Song and Bobby Gilliam, Brave and Strong, both tools for the prevention of childhood sexual abuse. She has spent the past ten years championing the issue of childhood sexual abuse and has received training certificates from some of the leading organizations dedicated to protecting children. A former teacher and mother of seven, her life has been enriched through adoption and foster care.
Would your child keep a
secret from you?
Get our FREE video:
What If? Conversation Starters
or never miss a post!
We're moms, just like you, who want to help parents protect their kids from childhood sexual abuse.
You may also like...
"If," a Poem for Prevention
Monday, November 15, 2021
She's Already Won the Gold
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Talking to Our Kids about Sex and Sexual Abuse. It's More Than Just the Facts.
Monday, February 22, 2021
When Your Nothing Is Everything
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Children Know the World Is...
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
“Kissing Cousins:" What Mr. Rogers and Daniel Tiger Taught About Sexual Abuse Prevention
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
So, What About Sleepovers?
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
How to Teach Our Children about Sex While We Are Still Their Heroes
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
How to Protect Our Special Needs Children from Sexual Abuse
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
What If My Child Won’t Talk to Me?
Saturday, June 23, 2018
THANK YOU for donating to Rise and Shine Movement's 5th Annual Stuffed Animal Drive
Thursday, May 24, 2018
One Essential Parenting Decision You Will Never Regret
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Rise and Shine Movement's 5th Annual Stuffed Animal Drive
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Processing the Larry Nassar Childhood Sexual Abuse Case
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Confident Parenting In A "Me, Too" World
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Are You and Your Children Free To Be?
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
When You Catch Your Child “Playing Doctor”
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Blush-free Family Movie Nights
Friday, July 14, 2017
How You Can Build a Relationship with Your Son by Talking about Porn
Thursday, April 27, 2017
The Day an Innocent Search Turned Up an Image My Son Can’t Erase: 5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe
Thursday, April 20, 2017
How to Speak about Porn and Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Child
Thursday, April 13, 2017
How You Can Help Protect Your Son's Innocence By Talking About Pornography
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Will Your Son Know What To Do When Someone Shows Him Porn?
Friday, March 31, 2017
Do Your Children Love Our Stories?
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Why It’s Good for Your Child to Hurt: A Lesson from a Sexual Abuse Survivor
Saturday, January 7, 2017
A New Website, A New Video -- Our gifts to you!
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Two Fearless Questions to Ask Your Child After a Playdate
Thursday, June 23, 2016
4 Things Perpetrators Don't Want Fathers to Know
Monday, June 13, 2016
April Awareness Month Wrap Up
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
2016 Stuffed Animal Drive Underway!
Thursday, March 31, 2016
The Winner Is (Our Bobby Gilliam Book Giveaway)
Monday, February 1, 2016
It's a Bobby Gilliam Book Giveaway!
Monday, January 25, 2016
Why Should I Talk To My Kids About Porn?
Friday, January 22, 2016
Prevention Strategies Around the Holidays
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Your Best Defense Against Childhood Sexual Abuse
Friday, September 18, 2015
Could Josh Duggar Be Your Son? Four Things You Need to Know
Friday, May 22, 2015
Measuring Success for CSA Awareness
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Is Your Child's Summer Camp Safe? Three Questions You Should Ask
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
What If Question Four
Monday, April 27, 2015
Bear Drive Huge Success in 2014
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
What If Question Three
Monday, April 20, 2015
What If Question Two
Monday, April 13, 2015
Protecting Our Kids from Sexual Abuse
Thursday, April 9, 2015
What If Question One
Monday, April 6, 2015
What If Conversation Starters
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
How Moms Can Make A Difference
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Children Don't Tell Because They Protect
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Children Don't Tell Because They Trust
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Children Don't Tell Because They Love
Monday, September 29, 2014
When a Story and a Calling Converge
Thursday, September 25, 2014