After reports and rumors began to swirl about a police investigation into Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane, parents of children who look up to and idolize Kane began to wonder how they would talk with their kids about the situation. On Friday, police in Hamburg, N.Y., confirmed there is an ongoing investigation involving Kane and an incident at his home there. He has not been charged in the matter.
Just got to break the news about Kane to my kids. UGH. Time for drinking and baseball.
— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) August 7, 2015
Difficult talk with my 7 yr old today about Patrick Kane. But kids know more than we think & you as parent need to find a way to address it
— Steve Bridge (@stevebridgewfmb) August 7, 2015
@evanFmoore it was a special talk. Even worse the court of public opinion in my house is guilty until proven guilty, or more guilty
— joe (@bigjcarp45) August 6, 2015
Julie Dicaro, an update anchor and contributor to 670 The Score, has been open publicly about difficult situations in the past, and agreed to share how the conversation she had with her kids went.
How old are your kids?
12 and 14.
What made you want to sit down and talk with your kids?
I went public with my own rape last year, so we have talked about sexual assault before, but we try to make the way we treat women in general an ongoing conversation in our house. I don’t want my boys to grow into the guys who assume every victim is lying or a gold digger — those guys have been out in force on the airwaves and social media the last few days. For me, that begins with how you view women to begin with, so we talk not just about sexual assault, but about harassment and the sense of entitlement some guys seem to have when it comes to women.
What did you tell them?
My husband and I asked them if they had heard anything about Patrick Kane that day. Their first question was, “WAS HE TRADED?” We explained to them that he had been the subject of accusations of wrongdoing involving a woman in NY, and that we didn’t know if it was true or not. That we had to wait for more information before we could make that decision. We told them they were likely to hear a lot of their friends saying that the girl was a liar, but that we didn’t know that. We talked about the presumption of innocence in this country, but we also said that, for reasonable people, that also means assuming the victim is honest and telling the truth unless we find out otherwise.
How did they take it?
Honestly, they just seemed sort of exhausted by it. They’ve seen quite a few pro athletes knocked off their pedestals recently, but the fact that this one hits so close to home really bummed them out. My oldest son just sort of dropped his shoulders in resignation. As if there’s no one in sports he can count on to be a good guy. It was actually pretty sad.
Ever have to do this for any other athlete/idol?
Yep. My youngest son wanted a Ben Roethlisberger jersey when he was much younger, and I explained to him why he couldn’t have one. So we began the conversation about sexual assault when he was 6 or 7. Since then, the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson jerseys have gone in the trash, so we’ve been through this before. Now, before my kids decide they like an athlete or celeb, they always ask me if I think he or she is a good person. They don’t want to cheer for people who hurt others, and I admire that about them.
Anything else you would like to add?
I’ve heard a lot of people say “how do I explain this to my kids?” the last few days. You just do. They’re stronger and understand much more than we think they do, even at a young age. It’s always better for parents to control the situation in which they get information like this, in my opinion. If you don’t educate your kids about these issues, other kids will.