About my life in Armenia, about being a mom and an activist, working for women's rights.
The challenges and benefits of raising a family in a post-soviet republic.
Finding a place, my place and calling it HOME.

15.12.10

Armenian Pregnancy Chronicles #3: Prenatal Care


It is 4 am and I can’t sleep. I was turning and turning in my bed, trying to relax, finding the right position to relieve my sciatic nerve pain, then emptying my mind of all the thoughts of yesterday’s stressful moving experience (we are moving the women’s center to a new location and it seems my present condition is making it harder for me to cope with it. But nothing is helping and it seems that my body, 7 months pregnant now, is preparing for waking up in the middle of the night and adapting to the future baby’s schedule.

Republican Hospital - Birth Center


I went to do my routine tests this week. The Republican hospital where I will be giving birth this time seems trustworthy. Some parts of the building were renovated with the help of USAID and some parts need more work. But overall it is a decent place although it lacks a little bit of a friendly ambiance, colors, nice soothing posters…I will visit soon the operating/delivery facilities and post delivery rooms as well and keep you updated on that.

1.12.10

Armenian Pregnancy Chronicles #2: Women Solidarity!

I am traveling so much during this pregnancy. And I feel that my baby is enjoying it very much, since she/he is not giving me any hard time, sitting quietly in the warmth of my belly. From time to time kicking vigorously to remind me that he/she is there when I get caught up in a heated discussion during my seminars.

I am now in Shushi, just came back from a dynamic meeting at the Women’s Resource Center here. Gohar and I started this branch of the Center 3 years ago with the help of Gayane that I met in Shushi during the summer of 2001, when I was volunteering with Land and Culture organization. Since then, Gayane and I bonded immediately. At that time her children were very young and I used to visit her with my daughter on my back for coffee some homemade sweets and long discussions. She used to tell me about her life in Karabakh; the war, how she met her husband and then her experience as a young mother in a war-torn city. We used to think together of different ways to improve the life of women here and what were some of the important issues they were dealing with.

Women's Resource Center of Shushi
I wouldn’t imagine that 7 years later we would be working together on developing a women’s center in Shushi. So much changed since then.  It was a real challenge to bring together women and create this unique space where they were accepted fully and given the opportunity to voice their concerns and talk endlessly of their dreams and losses for the past years.

During this trip, I realized how much the center has evolved and how important it started to become to all the women using it. Many contributed to this over the years; Briony and Julia provided the space for free, Tamar gave up her life in Paris to spend a couple of months in this harsh town to help the staff organize, Ani taught English and gave hope, Hasmig introduced non-violent communication, Lusya implemented video workshops, Tatevik, Anush, Gayane, Shushan, Lucine, Nina and other volunteers made endless trips back and forth from Yerevan to help with programs and activities. And many more contributed in different ways. Today the center is open 4 days a week, provides many services to the women in Shushi and surrounding areas. It is also a safe haven for those needing a space to talk and share their problems and find solutions for different issues they are faced with.

Active volunteer discussing with guests from Martakert
Tonight 5 young women from Martakert (border region of Kharabagh) came to visit. The Center is trying to outreach to the regions gradually.
It takes lots of effort and dedication to sustain a women’s center in a conflict region. Resources are scarce and motivation is low, we face many challenges. But it seems that something is changing, years ago it was difficult to find any local volunteers, today Nelly and some others come over after their University classes to help and want to do more.

Many times I was close to losing hope that anything will happen in this town. But today I left the meeting with a huge smile on my face. I felt so good to see how warm and energetic this center has become and how much the women are trying to do things with so little resources. 

to know more about the women's resource center in Shushi go here.

15.11.10

LGBT and journalists: a journey through tolerance and mafia game!

Tolerance, a very hard word to digest, specially if you are living in a small nation constantly struggling to keep its identity, to live, survive and exist.
Tolerance was a very hard and critical word to gasp during our weekend seminar in Tsaghkatsor, where 6 journalists and 6 LGBT community members were stuck in one remote place for 3 days to rethink all that ---

During the numerous discussions “hamaseramol”/“arvamol” was constantly defined – one part was blaming the other for writing homophobic articles and inciting hate speech in society, the other part, feeling under attack was criticizing the latter for being so closed, unorganized and not having adequate communication skills with the media and others. The ambiance was tense in the beginning, people were there with all their beliefs, stereotypes and prejudices and we had 2 and half days to work with all that.

But the real change happened at night…

Once the sun was down, nobody cared who was gay, journalist, hotel worker, diasporan, or hayasdantsi. At night something different happened which deconstructed for a moment the whole dynamic of the group. Yes, it was Mafia Time! And in that room gathered players regardless of their background, sexual preferences and social status.  Two days in a row we played the game choking of laughter. And believe me when you spend 2 nights playing mafia with someone, it is very difficult to hate that person or ignore him/her. And a whole new kind of relationship starts, building a strong base for a long lasting tolerance.

The second day, journalists were ready to protect their gay game partners when hotel workers were threatening not to clean the latter’s room or got angry when a bunch of Armenian men were making fun of them and saying homophobic comments.

The last day, journalists teamed with a gay partner and prepared amazing articles and pieces to share with the rest of us, some of them are already published, other will soon. The most important thing is that communication is always possible even when the situation seems impossible.  And change starts with those participants who had the will and the courage to face their deepest fears and challenge their most important beliefs.

You can read some of the articles here:

http://www.radiovan.am/arman_tolerantnost/

http://jenkasblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/blog-post.html?spref=fb 


13.11.10

Armenian Pregnancy Chronicles #1


I can say I am feeling much better.  This pregnancy was a little more stressful in the beginning because of my age.  When you’re over 35, you need to go through the worries of the health of the baby, triple test and the amnio. But the most nerve-racking experience was the wait. Thank god I was occupied with my work and travelling for conferences and meetings to keep my mind off of things.

The experience was even more interesting in Armenia. This is my 4th pregnancy in general and my 2nd in Armenia. My mom had almost a nervous breakdown once she heard the news over the phone. For her, one was enough and having more kids was just limiting myself as a woman and bringing hardship on myself. She is not the typical Armenian mom or Grandmother, too independent, she told me from the first day: “I did my share and raised my kids, don’t count on me for babysitting, I want to have fun with my grand-kids but not devote my entire life to them.” I appreciated her sincerity and decided to have 4 of my own and enjoy each one of the experiences. 

So when I found out that I was pregnant, I was happily surprised and thought little about age and problems, until I came back to Armenia after a long vacation in Montreal.  I went to my doctor’s office at the Hanrapetakan Hospital (Republican hosp.), same doctor who delivered my 3rd and a wonderful one, one of those rare doctors who will not scare you uselessly and will listen to your needs (which is very rare in Armenia).
He advised me to take the triple test and directed me to this new and high tech lab in Gomidas, DIAGEN. They were very professionnaly and I recommend it for any type of blood tests you need to do in Armenia.
After a week I went to pick up the results with my husband and went directly to the doctor, he looked at the numbers and expressed his concerns immediately.  I had a little over the average risk to give birth to a baby with trisomy (down syndrome).  I didn’t know what to think, I was under the shock, what next? That’s the hardest question you could ask yourself in these circumstances. We left the clinic depressed and had to wait another 2-3 weeks to pass an amnio to have the final results. The doctors explained to us the options: either to keep the baby, which in his opinion was a very difficult options, since Armenia unlike Canada doesn’t have the opportunities and services to support parents with children with down syndrome.  The other option was to do an abortion after the amnio results that would take me to almost 4-5 months of pregnancy and would be very hard for me to take.
On the day of the amnio, I was even more stressed, although I was trying to not think about it a lot, trying to relax as much as possible, but I was worried about the intervention and doing it in Armenia. So I went that day, the doctor prepared everything, checked the baby and started. The first 2 attempts were unsuccessful, I was trying to hold my breath, not move, concentrate my mind on other things.


I was feeling the needle entering deep in my womb, but nothing, not a single drop of amniotic fluid was coming out. He tried for the 3rd and last attempt and finally was able to succeed. I was almost ready to cry from worry; mostly worrying if this was going to harm the fetus or result in a miscarriage. I had to rest for 2-3 days, take it easy a little. So I spend a couple of days at home, in front of TV, writing and reading like crazy all kind of info I could get on the internet.

The wait was horrific and stressful. Then the results came when I was in Istanbul for a conference and my husband called me to say that everything was ok and I was carrying a healthy baby.  You couldn’t imagine my joy! I was finally going to enjoy the pregnancy.

15.10.10

Are Women NGOs becoming cheap service providers with senseless goals? -A lesson in humility from women in black




Almost 2 weeks ago, I was invited to take part in the Cross-border Network meeting of South Caucasus, in Istanbul. Women’s organizations from Abkhazia, Armenia, South Ossetia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia were invited. Their common goal was women’s rights and security in the region through peace dialogue.
I used to go with great enthusiasm to this kind of meetings, then my enthusiasm started to fade gradually. I didn’t know what was the reason at first, and then I started to understand.

The seminar was very interesting. Kvinna till Kvinna, the Swedish organization was the organizer and the moderator was an independent expert in peace building invited from London.

The first day, participants presented themselves and their work, decided on the goals and directions for the upcoming days and talked about their expectations and concerns. The second day we had a guest speaker Johanna Mannergren Selimovic from the University of Gothenburg to talk about Nationalism. This topic was very relevant to the reality of our region and we had a long discussion on defining Nationalism and how each one of us lived that in their life and how much that affected our work in peace building.
Sitting comfortably in the lobby of the hotel, I was trying to listen carefully to every single opinion stated in my small group during the break up sessions. Women coming from different places but from the same region voiced the same fears and concerns each time:
“being treated as traitors for talking with the enemy”, “endangering the security of the country”, “loosing something”, “being friends with the enemy, loosing its patriotism”, etc. It was hard to listen to all those unbelievably similar concerns and sometimes it was even harder to find ways to make them less of an obstacle to the important work we all believed doing.
Johanna raised many issues that day and made us think a lot on how we really perceive ourselves in this very nationalistic region. She made important statements like:

« governments benefit from instability and national identity is put forward before human identity »,  « in Nationalistic states, We don't have democracy, but we do democracy », « what is a nation-state: monopoly of violence (army), central administrative control, Homogenized population »

Then we discussed how it affected women: "female body used as a space to express nationalism", and « from the clothes she wears to the space she occupies, women's bodies are determined by nationalism »

We later moved on to find some solutions and a participant from Azerbaijan stated : « We should create tools for ourselves to be able to work in our nationalistic societies »

But the most decisive one was for me the last day presentation by a young woman from Belgrade, talking about her organization: WOMEN IN BLACK

I have already heard a lot about this movement on many occasions but never had to share this with my colleagues from South Caucasus. And the time came; Aleksandra Kovacevic from Women in Black of Serbia was invited to talk at this meeting.



The session started in a very interesting way, Aleksandra presented first what the organization standed for in a clear statement-like sentences; I actively twitted some of it:

"Solidarity is our strength"
"Changing ourselves, we are changing our world"
"We are the owners of our bodies, minds and money"
"Not with our money"
"No army protects peace"
"We won't give birth for church, nation, State or Army"
"Everything for peace, health education and nothing for armament"
"Antimilitarism is our choice"
"Feminism is our choice"
"Always disloyal to a nation, fathers of nation or head of family"
"NO woman, NO man, NOT a dime for war"
"Always Disobedient!"
"Do not let "ours' to cheat us"
"We are all the owners of our bodies, minds and money"
"Not in Our name"

These statements were making some of the participants nervous. I was witnessing lots of disapproval around the room. Some were whispering to their neighbors in discontent, others didn’t hide their extreme displeasure when Aleksandra stated that lesbian women joined their cause as well since the fight was for all women regardless of their background, social status, religion, race or sexual orientation. We were all victims and no one was spared.
Very few completely supported the idea of Feminism being the way to liberate our selves from the dictatorship of Patriarchy.

Although most of the women present admitted that there was a problem in their respective regions: that women were considered inferior, that there was lot of violence at home and in the public space, that they were themselves treated badly sometimes for being women’s rights activists. But still they were not able to see the real problem. It was difficult for them to push the limits as much as to break free from patriarchal chains of oppression. Everything was so deeply rooted in their minds and bodies, that it was difficult for them to understand LBT women’s issues and how they also needed the support of women’s movement. They were having hard time picturing female sex workers joining their cause in the streets…what then society would tell? They already had too many problems without including all those marginalized groups of women in their organizations.



It was sad to witness all this and realize that women activists in our region still lacked the courage to interfere with the core of the problem. They felt they had too much to lose on the way. Even though already they were taking some courageous steps to change things in their respective societies but still with defined limits.

Women in Liberia stopped the war, because they went all the way risking everything believing truly in a cause. Women in the Balkans passed the law to make sexual violence during war a punishable crime, because they understood that justice needs hard work, perseverance and commitment no matter if resources were available or not.

But in South Caucasus, we are still scared and deeply patriarchal even in the way we manage our women’s organizations. We are not ready to change ourselves in order to change society. We are still suffering from two major illnesses:

The first is “one woman show syndrome” where we want to do it all ourselves and monopolize issues and resources in a very competitive way and we don’t give space to other women and we refuse to work together to advance a cause that will benefit all of us, like domestic violence law, or gender equality or equal representation in parliament.

The second is we bash Feminism and continue serving Patriarchy.  We try to heal the symptoms and are completely blind to the source of the problem.

So we end up providing “cheap” services to women (whenever funding is available) and without feminism as an approach to fight patriarchal values or a strategic common objectives to change the reality of women, we go on surviving with a senseless goal… nagging, not going anywhere, inventing the wheel over and over again. And our local governments stay content and happy watching us running in a vicious closed circle like trapped rats, not feeling threatened or worried at all that some day we will restore justice and democracy and put them out of work!

Yes this ended up as being a very pessimistic post. The meeting in Istanbul made me realize that we had a long way to go still in South Caucasus regarding women’s rights. To end it in a more positive note, i remember my favourite quote of the presentation: "Women, don't get depressed, Patriarchy is full of depressed women!"

14.10.10

The story of the 4th occupation of my body






Yes we finally decided, or the baby decided for us! I am 5 months pregnant and will experience again pregnancy and childbirth in Armenia. I will post regular updates on that, to keep my family living abroad part of this 4th adventure and also to give information on the procedures (medical and other) related to pregnancy and childbirth options in local hospitals and other facilities.


Now i have one more reason to help make Armenia a better place :)


Due Date : march 1st, 2011 

6.9.10

Meet Ipod/Ipad/Iphone: the future parents of your kids!







Today was the first day for the brainy beans English workshop for kids at Educ Youth Center in Yerevan. Since there are little alternative language schools offered for kids here, I decided to register mine to this 4-week workshop taught by a British educator. After almost collapsing on the 6th floor stairs I finally arrived with my 8-year-old daughter on the doorsteps of the classroom.

While we were waiting for the class to start, a boy, same age as my daughter entered, looked around, then opened his bag, took out an iphone and called his mom/dad to tell them that he was there. Then he saw one of his friends and they started pushing each other, playing, joking, then this boy turned around and told his friend: “look at my iphone, it’s brand new, my dad bought it for me for my birthday…look I have pictures and games” and the other boy was looking envious, probably thinking how he could convince his parents to buy him one as well.



I was there standing with a stupid look on my face, I mean I just got my first iphone a month ago, a used one on top of that!

Yes, this is an important issue; lots of kids, younger and younger are getting cell phones from their parents. The major excuse is to keep in touch with them, in case something happens (a course delayed, a piano lesson cancelled, an earthquake!). Ok, I understand that this can be useful, but what about the other side that no one seems to be looking at; your child is having a full free communication with the outside world, with complete lack of supervision from you, and most of the phones have now access to internet (unsupervised access as well) and I am not mentioning all the spam, sexualized messages and photos that preteens and even 9 year olds or older kids can sms to each other just to be cool!
This is just the beginning, I am not yet talking about the ipod games, Nintendo etc…



When I was in Canada, this summer, most of the families that I visited had young children addicted to that. And I mean really addicted; they would collapse if you take it away from them, they will get nervous if an hour passed and they were not clicking on any kind of screen like little crazy, hysteric robots. It was so sad to see these kids, sitting one beside the other, almost not communicating with each other, clueless of what else to do in case the ipod ran out of batteries or they were found in a room with no electronics only regular toys.  And how about the amount of time that the child is physically inactive, stuck indoors, not moving at all? How healthy is that? Especially if they are like that for hours in a day, forgetting sometimes even to eat.

Sad also to see their parents who were happy that their kids were sitting still, occupied and most of all not bothering them, not asking them to go to the park or to a friends house or to play with them…

In Armenia, the invasion is almost there. But most parents can not afford it yet, so my kids could still find friends, not stuck to their ipod or computer screen, to play with, outside in the garden, to get dirty, to sweat, to run and jump and shout.

At Areqnazan/Waldorf school in Yerevan, even parents are not aloud to use their phone inside and teachers often warn them to limit computer and TV time at home.
But most of them find it difficult not because they don’t know how to stop their children, I think it has more to do with our own attitudes: we sometimes forget that being a parent is a skill, a vocation and no one better than us can entertain our kids or educate them, not even an ipod!

27.4.10

Dance classes that break your children's self-esteem

One of the things that i really like of life in Armenia is the multiple dance, music and art classes offered to children after school. Some art schools, like Igityan cultural center, have a long experience of teaching children dance and most of the children growing up in Yerevan specifically go to one of these schools to learn Armenian folkloric dance, ballet, latino and other styles.
Parents (mostly mothers and grand-mothers) religiously take their kids after school to those classes who are situated in different parts of the city and wait for them (for an hour or two twice a week in cold and dark waiting areas) to finish and escort them back home. Learning to dance is important to develop children's mind and body. They learn rhythm, music and coordination and move all the time instead of sitting in front of the TV for hours.
I used to take my 3 kids as well to these classes myself before i started working long hours and then Diguine Anna, our patient babysitter continued to take over this task. I also remember how i used to sit for a whole hour or two in these cold entrances, talking with other mothers, reading or writing and being happy that my kids also are benefitting from this opportunity. Dance classes for children in Canada are limited and not as affordable as in Armenia.

I always thought that these classes were an important tool to develop most importantly children's self-esteem and give them more confidence in their abilities. But i realized recently that I was wrong! Some of the very much known dance schools were doing in reality the complete opposite. A while ago, my daughters started complaining, not wanting to go to dance classes anymore. Then they started saying that the teacher is very mean and saying things she shouldn't say like "look how you are dancing, you are tmbo or what?" to one of their friends. Amassia complained that the school director was always saying to the girls (7-12yr olds) "stop eating too much, you are getting fat, how are you going to dance on stage...". The funny thing is that the school they go to "Sofi Devoyan Dance school" also sells cheap junk food(Sofi chocolate, Sofi cotton candy,Sofi popcorn, ...) in the school waiting area for these same kids. This already gives you an idea that this school's top priority is to make money, the rest is not as important it seems. Teachers don't know how to talk to kids and even though my husband and I complained many times, they didn't do anything since they have lots of students and business is good!
I discussed this with local Armenian girls, who used also to go to these kind of classes in their childhood and some of them, told me as well how bad some of the teachers used to treat them, giving them lots of complexes that they still carry until now.

Amassia and Varanta stopped going to dance classes a week ago. We will search again for a better dance school with well educated and prepared teachers and a caring administration. Vayk loves the Igityan school and until now we didn't have any complaints, but still monitoring.

So this is to tell you to be more attentive as parents and follow closely these kind of classes, in Armenia or elsewhere some teachers could break your child self-esteem(especially for girls, we have enough body image problems in society among adolescent girls, we need to be more careful) with their ignorance and negative attitudes and this is not at all acceptable.

So for now, on my bad list (regarding self-esteem development in children and absence of pedagogical approach) is:

Sofi Devoyan Dance School

Any other schools that you could recommend? would love to hear from your experiences as parents or dancers.

20.4.10

Խոսիր ինձ հետ, ես այստեղ եմ քեզ համար:



(For english version see here)

Ես երկար ժամանակ մտածում էի գրել ինչոր բան այս թեմայի հետ կապված: Հետո ես ինքս ինձ ասացի, որ երեխաները կարևոր են, նրանք պետք է ամենից կարևոր լինեն, այդ թվում նաև Հայաստանում, քանի դեռ նրանք ամենից խոցելին են սեռական բռնության հանդեպ:
Կանադայի կամ ԱՄՆ-ի յուրանաքանչյուր ծնողի համար, ով երեխա է դաստիարակում, սա շատ անհանգստացնող հարց է: Զլմ-ները անընդհատ հիշեցնում են նրանց, որ զգուշանան բռնարարներից, առևանգողներից և պեդոֆիլներից, որոնք ամենուր են` դպրոցում, փողոցում, զբոսայգիներում և տանը:

Հայաստանում մինչև այժմ էլ ընդհանրապես բռնության մասին խոսելը տաբու է, առավել ևս սեռական բռնության մասին, նույնիսկ երեխաների նկատմամբ: Միայն վերջին 3 ամիսների ընթացքում, ես անձամբ առաջին անգամ կարդացի երեխաների նկատմամբ սեռական բռնության վերաբերյալ 3 հոդվածներ տարբեր հայկական օնլայն ամսագրերում` առաջին դեպքը պատահել էր Երևան քաղաքում, երբ մի խումբ տղաներ բռնաբարել էին մի 8 տարեկան աղջկա զբոսայգիներից մեկում, երկրորդը` մարզում, երբ 5 տարեկան տղա երեխան ենթարկվել էր սեռական բռնության իրենց հարևանների և ընտանիքի ընկերների կողմից, և երրորդը` գյուղում, երբ փոքրիկ տղան բռնաբարվել էր դպրոցում 3 դեռահասների կողմից: 

Մինչ այդ սեռական բռնության դեպքեր էին գրանցվել Նուբարաշենի գիշերօթիկ դպրոցում, որի մասին բարձրաձայնեց ակտիվիստ Մարիամ Սուխուդյանը, ինչն արթնացրեց ողջ հանրության ուշադրությունն այս հիմնահարցի շուրջ, հետո սկսեցին հայտնվել տվյալ դպրոցը ավարտած աշակերտները, ովքեր պատմում էին տվյալ դպրոցի աշխատակազմի ներկայացուցիչների կողմից իրենց նկատմամբ իրականացված սեռական բռնությունների մասին:
Երբ գնում ես տարբեր հանդիպումների և խոսում ՀՀ-ում երեխայի պաշտպանության ոլորտում աշխատող մասնագետների հետ, միշտ լսում ես ահավոր պատմություններ երեխաների նկատմամբ իրականացված սեռական բռնության տարբեր տեսակների մասին, ինչպես ընտանիքների ներսում, այնպես էլ ընտանիքից դուրս, և այդ պատմություններն իրական են: Բայց շատ հազվադեպ է, երբ մարդիկ բարձրաձայնում են տվյալ հիմնահարցի վերաբերյալ հանրության մեջ:
Ինչու՞: Վախ, ամոթ կամ միգուցե գործընթացի և միջամտության մեխանիզմների պակասություն:

Մի բան հաստատ է. նման լռությունը չի պաշտպանում մեր երեխաներին: Դժվար է, վախենալու և սարսափազդու, բայց մարդիկ պետք է տեղեկացված լինեն, որ բռնությունը առկա է նաև ՀՀ-ում և բռնության մասին չխոսելը չի վերացնում տվյալ երևույթը: Ամենադժվար բանն այն է, երբ ոչ ոք չի խոսում բռնության մասին, բոլորը մտածում են, որ բռնություն չկա մեզ մոտ և այսպիսով ծնողները սկսում են իրենց երեխաներին վստահել բոլորին, նույնիսկ անծանոթներին: Տվյալ տեղեկատվության պակասը կարող է ստեղծել մեզ համար պրոբլեմներ և մեր երեխաներին դարձնել իդեալական զոհեր` հասանելի, ազատ և անտեղյակ:
Երբ ես կամավորություն էի անում ՀՀ-ի մարզերում, միշտ զարմանում էի, որ երիտասարդ երեխաները միանում էին մեզ ամենուր, երբեմն առանց ծնողների իմացության: Հետո, երբ ես տեղափոխվեցի Երևան, նկատեցի, որ փոքր աղջիկները /5-6 տարեկան/ խաղում են այգիներում մինչ ուշ գիշեր` առանց որևէ վերահսկողության, որտեղ շատ հեշտ էր հանդիպել ամեն տեսակի մարդկանց:
Ես գիտեմ, որ այս ամենը տհաճ է և երբեմն մենք վախենում ենք, որ պաշտպանելով մեր երեխաներին` կտրումում ենք նրանց իրենց անմեղությունից և մանկությունից: Բայց ես նաև հիշում եմ փոքրիկ տղայի դեմքի արտահայտությունը, ով եկել էր մեր ճգնաժամային կենտրոն բռնությունից հետո և ես մտածեցի, որ եթե միայն մենք սովորեցնեինք մեր երեխաներին խոսել մեզ հետ ավելի շատ` սովորեցնելով նրանց սեփական մարմնի և անձնական ապահովության պահպանման կարևորության մասին:
Այդ գիշեր ես նստեցի իմ անկողնում երեխաներիս հետ և սկսեցի խոսել և հարցեր տալ` ինչպես է դպրոցում, կան արդյոք այնտեղ ինչ-որ պրոբլեմներ, կա՞ ինչ-որ բան, որ անհանգստացնում է նրանց: Հետո մենք խոսեցինք մեր մարմինների մասին, ինչքան այն անձեռնմխելի է և որ մեր մարմինները մեզ են պատկանում և միայն մենք ինքներս իրավունք ունենք դիպչելու մեզ: Մենք նույնիսկ պրակտիկ փորձարկեցինք բարձր գոռալ և աղմուկ բարձրացնել` մյուսների ուշադրությունը գրավելու համար, եթե վտանգավոր իրավիճակում հայտնվենք:
Դժվար է մտածել այս ամենի մասին: Երբեմն գիշերները ես չեմ քնում` մտածելով այս ամենի մասին, երբեմն ես չափից ավել եմ սկսում մտածել, բայց կարևոր է ուժեղացնել մեր երեխաներին և քաջալերել նրանց վստահել իրենց սեփական բնազդներին` փոխարեն վերացնել վերջիններս:

Ոչ ոք չի ուզում մեծացնել զոհերի, ուրեմն եկեք անհրաժեշտ գործիքներով զինենք մեր երեխաներին` ապահով միջավայր ստեղծելով ընտանիքի ներսում և դրսում: