I'm Emily Gaudreau, a former professional photographer, and a mom.
I'm not an expert in raising kids.
In fact, I know little about the best way to raise a child into an amazing adult. What I do know is that our society and our children are regularly exposed to unsolicited p***ography, violence, and other inappropriate material. Our kids are becoming numb to compassion, intimacy, empathy while being subjected more to cyberbullying for being different.
I worry for my daughter when she becomes older as she already been submitted to unsolicited information and will be judged for being an individual.
At dinner one night with my other girlfriends who happen to be mothers, I was listening to their worries and concerns about raising a kid in today's world
It got me thinking that we are not choosing to see these things. Everywhere we turn, there it is. This unsolicited content is affecting our kids, exposing them to the world where they can’t decipher what is acceptable or not.
What do parents do?
Parents can do the best things possible to protect their children, but at the end of the day, it's up to the kids to choose not to do drugs, watch violent movies, and consume unsolicited violentp***ography on the internet.
Kids have to be equipped with the right tools, a strong moral compass, and passion for being better, so I came up with The Cyber Parent Project which was the original name and concept for How to Raise A Maverick. My goal was to educate parents on how to keep their kids safe online. After initially getting a great response, I started doing research and came across some shocking statistics.
Most kids are exposed to p***ography at the age of 8.
By 12 they can bypass all the filters you put on the computer.
Suicide for girls 10-14 has increased by at least 200% from 1999 and boys had a 37% increase.
I also found that most parents were in complete denial and more worried about other kids than their own. They assumed their children would never do anything like that which isn't true. More and more, kids are being given iPhones without adult filters on them. Kids are visiting their friend's house, jumping on the computer without parental filters and have more and more access to violent images. I realized there is no true way to protect your kids from what is out there.
The thought of my daughter having images of violent hardcore p*** burned into her brain before she’s even had a real loving sexual experience scares the crap of me. What scares me more is her dating and marrying a man whose sexual expectations are set by violent p***.
That was my Ah Ha moment.
Kids have to be strong enough and believe in themselves enough to choose better. It's up to them to decide not to watch the violent and graphic images. It's up to them to decide not to participate. As parents, we have to do our best to set them up for success to fight these realities. I believe we can do this together by sharing best practices and helping one another face the world stronger, tougher, and more resilient.
I’m a family gal in her late thirties doing my best to raise my daughter with my husband who has 3 kids of his own.
My formative years were spent in the U.K mostly in the old science museums. As a result I have a obsession with minerals and plants (yep … I have a killer rock collection & my version of retail therapy begins at the plant nursery.)
When I’m not in the studio recording I’m playing in the garden, praying “someone” sleeps through the night, picking up playdough with one hand …and a glass of wine in the other.
It's never too late!
No matter what stage of parenting you’re in … It’s never too late. So many times divorced parents just give up and say “It’s out of my hands now”.
Please don’t give up on your kids. They need you now more than ever.
Subscribe to the HowToRaiseaMaverick Podcast, join our newsletter, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or drop me a line and we’ll get you some answers. I am here for you. This community is here for you.
Life is too short to have regrets.
Let’s do absolutely everything we can to get those kids set up for real world success not just handouts.
Thank you so much for reading this! I’d love to hear from you and have you join me and my community of Maverick parents.