Before leaving for school this morning, we heard on the news that Rihanna and Chris Brown will be singing a duet together. My kids hadn’t heard that Brown had beaten Rihanna on a Los Angeles street, so the concept of the song carried no weight. I explained to them what had happened and they looked at me, dumbfounded. They didn’t know why he would do it. They like his music on the radio.
I told them it is hard to know why people do certain things, but just know that some people do, and will. At 11 and 13, they need to know how to watch for signs in people. Typically, that has meant, who is your friend on Tuesday but not on Wednesday, who pretends to be dumb when she isn’t, who brags, who can’t contain himself in his seat.
Now, it means, who could hit you when you are older and on a date. It is important to know. And it is important to know how to take off. They didn’t understand why Rihanna was sticking around, or why, when I told them about shelters for domestic violence, many women find it difficult to leave their homes. I told them never to be generous. You cannot change people. If someone touches the hair on your forearm in a way that you don’t like, run.
Then, we pulled up at school and I wished them luck on their math tests.