3 Easy Ways to Teach Children About Consent

3 Easy Ways to Teach Children About Consent

3 Easy Ways to Teach Children About Consent

It’s important to teach children about consent from a young age. Often when people think about the subject of consent they think about sexual assault or rape. We need to teach children about consent before they’re even in their teens. As children they need to learn about body autonomy, forced intimacy and feeling uncomfortable.

Use Proper Names for Body Parts

It’s important to teach children the proper terms for their genitals. This is so that they can communicate clearly if someone is touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. Referring to them as their ‘bits’ or ‘down there’ isn’t helpful at a time when you need them to be precise.
This has the added benefit of when they have hurt their genital region or have an infection they can tell a health professional exactly what the problem is.

For girls I think it’s really important not to demonise their sexual organs. As a society we have this issue with sex being a dirty and shameful thing, when in fact it’s a very natural thing. Using the correct words for their genitals normalises them as if they were any other part of the body.

Don’t Force Intimacy

We live about 2 hours drive away from our nearest relatives so we often have family stay over for visits and means that greetings and goodbyes can be a bit emotional. Often they will say to ragamuffin ‘are you going to give me a hug?’ or ‘are you going to kiss me goodbye?’ but ragamuffin is never forced to do it.

Stop Playing if Someone Feels Uncomfortable

If we’re playing tickling games I always stress the point that if mummy, daddy or ragamuffin say stop we must stop. Even if the person who wants to stop is laughing.
We recently had ragamuffin’s aunt and uncle visit, and her aunt encouraged ragamuffin to tickle her uncle’s feet even though he said no. I made a point of saying to ragamuffin ‘if your uncle says no then we mustn’t tickle’ and she was fine with that.

This was illustrated beautifully in an episode of Doc McStuffins, where Gloria the giggly Gorilla tickles another toy even though he asked her to stop. Doc steps in and explains that it’s important to listen when someone says no, even if you think the other person is enjoying it.

Image of a child's hand holding an adult's hand with grass and bluebells in the background. Above the image is the pink text '3 Easy Ways to Teach Children About Consent' against a green background.

 

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8 thoughts on “3 Easy Ways to Teach Children About Consent

  1. I agree totally on teaching a child that they have the right to say no. I have seen many times when people (usually gramdparents) will insist on having a kiss or cuddle when greating or leaving a grandchild. Their argument being that they havre a right to have a cuddle. This should never be the case. #dreamteam

    1. No-one is ever ‘entitled’ to physical contact of affection from another person let alone a child. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  2. This is such an important issue and we definitely need to teach this earlier than the teens. I wrote a post about consent about a year ago and made a point that it’s not just a matter of teaching girls to say no – we have to teach boys to hear it too
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK πŸ™‚
    Debbie

    1. I’m totally with you that girls need to know that they can say no and that boys need to hear it too.
      Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  3. I think this is a really powerful piece and I agree that it’s so important to empower our children to understand their own bodies and their right to say no. It’s such a positive step to see this being reinforced in children’s media too like the Doc McStuffins link. Thanks for sharing this with #DreamTeam x

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