In a world where every person is like a unique puzzle piece, fitting together to create the big picture of life, there's a special word that holds incredible power – consent. It's like a magical key that unlocks the door to understanding, respect, and making everyone feel comfortable and safe. Imagine a world where everyone's feelings and wishes matter, where every "yes" and "no" is heard and honoured. Buckle up, curious minds, because we're about to embark on an exhilarating journey through the vibrant landscape of consent, discovering why it's important, how it works, and how it helps us build stronger connections with kids and each other. Get ready to explore a world where green means go, red means stop, and communication is the ultimate superpower.
When was the first time you interacted with sex? Can you remember? Do you wish it could have happened better, If you knew better? Sex as an aspect of human beings is an innate experience. Talking to your kids about sex and consent can feel embarrassing, and overwhelming, and it is okay to feel that way because facts– you are not alone. “As parents, we need to initiate these conversations, and we need to take a deep breath and say I am uncomfortable, this is scary for me but I am the one to initiate.” Dr Carol confirms— The good news is we can help you avoid it because it doesn't need to weigh you down, here is how to break down to your kids about consent;
What is Consent Anyway?
Imagine you have a big box of your favourite toys. You wouldn't want someone to just take them without asking, right? Consent is a lot like asking before you borrow someone's toys. It's about getting permission and making sure everyone is okay with what's happening.
1. Newborns-4 years
Introducing the world of consent to our littlest ones is a delightful journey! From gentle tickles to cozy cuddles, we're teaching them about personal space and respect. Encouraging simple actions like asking before play and reading their cues empowers them from the start. As they giggle and grow, we're building a foundation of understanding – where "yes" and "no" are heard, fostering trust and setting the stage for a lifetime of healthy relationships.
In the earliest stages of life, teaching the concept of consent to little ones lays the foundation for a lifetime of healthy relationships. For newborns and toddlers, consent revolves around respect for their personal space and autonomy. As caregivers, we lead by example, ensuring gentle touch and interactions. A baby's cues, like smiles or reaching out, can guide our actions. As they grow, encouraging phrases like "Can I hold your hand?" instill the idea of seeking permission. Storytime becomes an opportunity to discuss characters' feelings and actions, teaching empathy and consent. Remember, green means go and red means stop. When someone says "yes," it's like a green light – you can play together! If they say "no," it's a red light – that means you should stop.
By age 3 to 4, children grasp the basics. Encourage them to ask before hugging friends or sharing toys, reinforcing the importance of everyone feeling comfortable. These early lessons sow the seeds of respect and communication, nurturing a future where consent is second nature.
Just like learning to walk and talk, understanding consent takes time. So, as you grow, you'll learn even more about being a kind friend who listens and respects others. And that, little champs, is the superpower of consent!
2. Age 5-8 years
Green Means Go, Red Means Stop
Think of consent like traffic lights. When the light is green, it means you can go ahead. When it's red, you stop. The same goes for consent. If someone says "yes," it's like a green light. If they say "no," it's a red light. Always listen to those lights!
Being a Super Listener
Listening is like having superhero ears. When someone talks to you, really pay attention. If they say, "I don't want to play tag right now," or "I don't want a hug," that's their way of telling you their preference. Super listeners respect what others say.
The Magic Word: Communication
Have you ever played a game without knowing the rules? It can get confusing, right? Well, life is like a big game, and the magic word here is communication. Talking about how you feel and what you want is super cool. When everyone talks openly, everyone has fun!
Different Situations, Different Choices
Remember, consent isn't just for toys and games. It's for everything in life. If you want to share a secret, ask if it's okay. If you want to help someone, ask if they need it. Even if you want a high-five, it's great to ask. Everyone has different feelings about different things, and that's totally okay!
High-Fives and Hugs
Let's talk about high-fives and hugs. Some people love them, and some might not be fans. Always ask, "Can I give you a high-five?" or "Can I give you a hug?" If they say yes, fantastic! If they say no, that's cool too. It's about making sure everyone feels comfortable.
Remember, consent is like being a kind friend. It's about checking if everyone is okay with what's happening. So, next time you're about to do something, just ask! "Is it okay if we do this?" That's how we create a world full of smiles and respect.
We've had a blast exploring the colourful world of consent today. Now you're armed with the superpower of asking and listening. So, go out there and be the coolest, most respectful parent ever!
Question; What has been your experience as a parent? Are you willing to try these tips? Engage with us! On our next article on consent for teens—stay tuned!