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Not Talking is No Laughing Matter

We’ve been lucky to have au pairs live with us for the last three years; it’s been a wonderful way to have flexible, affordable childcare, and to learn about different cultures.

Because of this, I’m in a number of au pair/host family groups on Facebook, and saw an interesting post recently that I wanted to share with you:

A mom was sharing that their male au pair (“bro pair” or “BP”) had been really helpful when her 16-year-old cognitively impaired daughter reported having kissed her boyfriend the previous week.  She then shared this:

Now, there’s nothing wrong with the post—sounds like this young man was very helpful and protective of the daughter.

But here’s what got my attention.  Another parent responded with this:

Anyone see what might have me bothered about this response?

I piped in and shared my perspective, but thought I’d share it with you all as well.

Here’s how I see it:

This response perpetuates the idea that we *don’t* need to talk to our sons about things like consent and making sure they never feel pressured to do anything—or the importance of making sure they never pressure anyone else to do anything either.

It perpetuates the idea that “boys are easier” to parent and that talking about things like sex, body safety, and consent is “hard.”

It doesn’t have to be.

And in light of the recent findings from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey that showed a 27% increase between 2019 and 2021 in the number of high school girls reporting being raped, whether it’s hard or not, it needs to be done.

Parents, it’s time we step up.

Whether you’re the parent of boys, girls, straight kids, an LGBTQ+ kiddo, a neurotypical kid or a kiddo with extra challenges, gone are the days when not talking to them and letting them fend for themselves is a laughing matter.


[Need help? Ready to step up but not sure how to have these conversations? Reach out–that's what I'm here for.  I can help make it easy and fun. In the meantime, you can also use the OMEGAS of consent to get you started.]


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Christy Keating fun headshot

Christy Keating is a certified parent coach,  positive discipline educator, and motivational speaker. She is the founder and CEO of The Heartful Parent Collective, which includes Heartful Parent Coaching, Savvy Parents Safe Kids, and Heartful Parent Academy.

The mother of two amazing daughters, Christy strives to build a happier, healthier world - one child, one parent, and one family at a time.