As I sit here typing this post, there are a million and one things I would love to write down and talk about, so hopefully I don't ramble on and lose you, but we will give it a try not to!
This week in Northern Ireland, there was a verdict on a rape case involving a young lady and 4 Ulster Rugby players. Subsequently the rugby players were acquitted and the young girl remains with the memories of quite a sordid night and the knowing that the accused are walking free, forever i nthe public eye.
You can read the stories in the papers and online, and I won't go into here, but I am not siding with either side.
But as a parent there is a one thing that I want to draw from this is the complete lack of respect and manners shown towards ladies/girls/women shown by those rugby players, who are role models to a lot of impressionable young men.
I don't want to sully my blog by sharing the contents of whatsapp messages shared between the men, but they clearly show that they have no respect for women, to them, a lady is simply a trophy, a one nighter, a face with no name! Its disgusting from these so called professionals.
I cant imagine what the women in their families think when all this came to light, mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters must be wrenching at the thought. If I knew my kids spoke of others like that or thought that of my daughter I would be foaming at the mouth!
But bringing this back to topic, what I want to draw from this aside from the rape case, is the absolute importance of teaching children from a young age what it is to have manners and respect for themselves and others. Going beyond the please and thank yous and general courteousness, its how they interact with others, recognising emotions and accepting people for being humans just like them.
It doesnt matter if these other people wear trackies and a burberry hat or if they are wearing the finest of Armani clothes, that is all just image, deep down is what truly matters! Respecting people and having strong values is something that is seriously lacking in society and it is being recognised as totally acceptable.
What tops it off is that hours after the trial was finished, one of the accused put up a tweet making fun of the situation and even referenced the scene of the alleged crime.
Because I have a daughter also, I think about if that was my daughter. What values would I be teaching her from a young age. Certainly to respect herself and have a high self worth! She shouldn't have to chase men, or to prove herself to others unnecessarily, and try to teach her to have common sense and hopefully not in up in an awkward situation.
I normally have a strong opinion about a lot of things, and Clare even has to tell me not to post or write things because I will get into an argument, but this is one thing that I genuinely cant argue about. I just don't have a definitive opinion in my mind about what happened, but this is all moot because a jury has found them not guilty.
But this story also highlights to me the drink culture that is so strong and prevalent in society and how it is becoming more and more acceptable for teenagers to drink from a young age! Im not one for drinking and I have never seen the attraction with it, I preferred to drive around and see the craic afterwards, but I also see the fallout when it goes wrong and this can be seen in this rape trial also, copious amounts of alcohol is taken in and even more amount of common sense falls out.
I will certainly discourage alcohol as much as I can to my children, but if at the right age its something they want to do, then I will certainly teach moderation! There is more to life than alcohol and the situation it can find you in!
So my work is cut out to teach my children solid values, as society so often conflicts with common sense and good values, and as a parent this is a sad thing as I will certainly be called a dinosaur stuck in the past at some point in my life, but I am thankful for the good values my parents taught me!