When Chris Brown smashed Rihanna's face up and bit her, there should have been no question about what a child learned from their parent. If you didn't reveal your opinion about her return, your silence is sending a message of acceptance. You have to come down heavy on violence against women being wrong and back it up with supporting actions — like telling your kids no buying Brown's music. Sliding one penny in the direction of that loser is the same thing as saying it's okay to beat, bite, and threaten women.
Parents have to train their children's use of empathy and love. If you start spoon-feeding your kids the mushy and unrealistic, "everyone deserves forgiveness" conversation, you might as well punch Rihanna in the face yourself. Use this story to teach your kids that not everyone deserves forgiveness, and explain why, otherwise we're looking at another generation of woman beaters, more men with poor character, and more women with no boundaries. 3 Reasons We're Angry About Rihanna Secretly Seeing Chris Brown
When violence against women happens, the subject of forgiveness always arises, and it is encouraged, but that's wrong and very dangerous. Many of the same people who are all about forgiving can't understand why Rihanna seems to have done just that, but you can't have it both ways — touting forgiveness and then criticizing her for giving it too, and that is exactly my point. Abusers shouldn't be forgiven. We set women up to feel like they have to be, or should be forgiving, and it disempowers them. Women who have been with abusive men are already too forgiving and empathetic; they need better advice and safer strategies.
Teach your children what Rihanna and many other abused women never learned: that forgiveness and love should be conditional. You cannot keep your kids safe and teach them to forgive the behavior (battery) and still love the person (an abuser). When domestic violence or violence against women is the issue, forgiveness of any kind can be fatal. Be clear. How To Nourish A New Relationship: Five Tips [VIDEO]
Wrong Message: Unconditional Love
A bogus, overrated, unrealistic concept that is potentially harmful, especially if the child is soft hearted or a rule follower. It sets them up to stay through abuse and remain loyal.
Right Message: Conditional Love
Only parents have unconditional love for their children, everyone else gets your heart, compassion, empathy, understanding, and forgiveness on a conditional basis. There are clear deal breakers, and one of those deal breakers is abuse. It's a condition to your love — if abuse happens, love doesn't, period. If it happens, you shut it down. If it happens, it happens once. If it happens, you owe nothing to anyone. No understanding, no sympathy, no love, no consideration, no shame, no explanation, no embarrassment, no forgiveness, and no contact. 75% Of Readers Think Rihanna Needs To Dump Ex, Chris Brown!
Wrong Message: Unconditional Forgiveness
(Making no distinction between who deserves forgiveness and who doesn't) There are bad people who do bad things and there are good people who do bad things. Abuse and violence against women fits into the category of bad person/bad behavior every time. Nothing else matters; all bets are off; if you give forgiveness anyway, you will create an internal confusion and conflict. Giving inauthentic or undeserved forgiveness freely creates emotional blocks and diminishes self worth. 3 Tricks To Stop Yourself From Taking Him Back
Forgiving bad people/behaviors feels dirty because you know it isn't right to let people do the bad things, but the pressure to forgive and forget is huge, and the norm, even when it doesn't serve you. Make your own way; when it doesn't feel like the right thing to do, when you know wrong is wrong, and you're trying to satisfy or comfort others by forgiving in spite of that, then it is wrong; you don't have to give forgiveness, ever. Forgiving an unforgivable will cause nothing but stress; you can move on in more powerful ways; you owe no one.
Right Meassage: Conditional Forgiveness
(Making a distinction between forgiving a person and forgiving behavior) When it comes to a man physically attacking a woman, it is a deeply rooted character issue. Chris Brown didn't pummel Rihanna by mistake, he isn't a good, nice man who did a bad thing. Hitting a woman can't be considered a bad behavior because we want to feel better about what happened, it was disturbing and inexcusable; let it be what it was. A Domestic Violence Survivor's Advice For Rihanna
Authentic forgiveness is only possible on conditions, and with the category of good person/bad behavior because it is about the behavior, and a good person who makes a mistake is different than a rotten at the core person who is callous. Where abusers are concerned, the core of the person is off, it is not about the behavior, it's about the person and the pattern. Yes, it's harsh, but this is realistic information that can save your child's life if they ever end up with a man resembling the likes of Chris Brown. 3 Ways To Get Over Your Ex & Not Get Sucked Back In
Forgiving abusers can be fatal; parents cannot give or encourage mixed messages on this subject.
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