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Angela Bassett Reveals How She Got Her Son to Understand “No Means No”

Superstar Angela Bassett recently opened up about her own devastating experience with sexual assault as a child. So if you think she’s wasting any time teaching her own children how to navigate potential dangers, you’d be wrong. Indeed, the mom of 13-year-old twins — son Slater Josiah and daughter Bronwyn Golden, carried by surrogate — has been working on imparting important lessons since her kids were just toddlers.

“Since they were very, very little you just give them enough information,” when it comes to teaching subtle and age-appropriate lessons about privacy and boundaries, she told People. “Then they adopt it and take it.”

She gave a specific example from her real-world parenting playbook about how she got her son in particular to understand.

“I used to say to my son when he’s wrestling with his sister — wrestling back and forth and trying to take her down — and she’d say, ‘Stop!’ and I’ll say, ‘When a girl tells you stop, stop. When a girl tells you no, she means no.'”

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Bassett’s son began internalizing this lesson from an early age, she explained.

“At four [years old, we were in] Mexico one time and I’m being harangued [by vendors]: buy a sarong, buy some jewelry, you want a churro?” she recalled. “And I [said] no, no thank you. And he looks at the man and says, ‘When a girl tells you no, she means no!”

So it’s those “little lessons,” as Bassett called them, that are clearly working.

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