Suanne Brady

Suanne Brady

Real Advice: Use a Condom (or a glove)

We’ve all heard this advice, but not like this.

When I became a parent I suddenly felt this huge weight of responsibility on my shoulders, I know from experience and observation, that parents can be our worst enemies despite the best of intentions.  Our parents voice echos in our minds long after they’re gone, and that voice creates our reality to some degree, it influences our self-worth, and our decision making. That’s a lot of responsibility.

I decided some very new-agey, California things; My children were treated like people, not idiots. People with real feelings and thoughts – accepting that they had less maturity to cope with and express those thoughts and feelings. I spoke to my children as rational beings before they were even born.

My children were never allowed to use the word dumb or stupid when talking about themselves or others. They weren’t exposed to gender stereotypes at home. They were encouraged to produce and appreciate art, read whatever they chose, and listen to all forms of music.

I walked around the house for weeks after my son was born chanting the word penis so that I could say it with the same casualness as I said nose or hand, because I didn’t want any false shame forced on my children. Our bodies are healthy, normal, good.

And, I would use my subliminal voice to influence them with positive words and affirmations. So, there I was with a tiny boy in my arms and just as he would fall asleep I’d whisper “Use a Condom”. 

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