10 ways to teach your child about Consent - India Parenting Tips

Saturday, October 13, 2018

10 ways to teach your child about Consent


Would you mind to sit on my lap baby? 

How about a Big Hug!

With the rampant outbreak of the growing rate of sexual harassment and violence today, it has become very crucial to teach children about the concept of Consent and the right to say NO whenever and where ever required.

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10 ways to teach your child about Consent

Your Consent for a particular matter is not a compliance issue that demands obedience. It does not mean that you are disrespectful and rude. This mental understanding should be made to develop on the child’s mind and parents have an indispensable role to play here.

Well, that is the basic purpose why I decided to write about how you should teach your child the concept of consent.

10 ways to teach your child about Consent

#1. The concept of Option and Permission

Teach your child that whenever someone asks him or her to do something he or she always has a choice, an option to say yes or no. There is no rule that says you need to say yes always. Saying yes is not always important and required.

Start teaching your child the concept of seeing permission yourself. Hands on knowledge would make your child more confident to deal with issues related to compliance and consent. Example: Would Dora like mamma to give her a kiss? Teach your child that she or he has a choice and option to say Yes or No. Again make your child repeat the same process with you. Ask him or her to seek permission before coming close to you.
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Teach your child about seeking permission

One important point that we need to note here as parents are that we should never force our children to accept affection from someone if they do not want. Often we as parents force our children to hug and kiss our close friends and relatives unknowingly causing the damage. If you are teaching your child about options and permission, you yourself should observe it first and practically demonstrate that with your actions and behaviors.

#2. Respect the power of No

No is not always the negative and bad thing that we should avoid. Teach your child that he or she has every right to agree or disagree when it comes to physical closeness and touching someone.

No is a powerful weapon. When you say No to someone that person should immediately stop his or her action at that very moment and should not force you to say yes. When you say No to someone, he or she should immediately restrain his behavior and should not give you reasons or threats to say Yes.
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No is a powerful weapon. Use it when needed

It could be your best friend or your own close relations, but if your child says No please do not force him or her to do something against his or her will when it comes to social interactions and physical closeness.

#3. Words that confirm your consent

Now that you have taught your child about options, permissions and the power of No, you need to enrich your child with a stock of positive words that means Yes as a consent.
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Enrich your child with ‘Yes words’ of affirmations

The stock of positive affirmative words would help your child to articulate well with confidence and he or she would never miss words to express himself or herself while giving his or her consent.

They are as follows:
  • Yes
  • Yes, Please
  • Absolutely
  • Okay
  • Sure
  • Fine
  • Of course
  • Alright
  • Let’s do it

#4. Words that mean 'NO' Consent

Now that we have a good supply of words with positive affirmations, it is imperative that we should have a similar stock of No words that sounds politer but firm.

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Saying No in a polite manner is definitely a skill!

Help your child with the list of words given below to say No confidently and it a better way with a smile on face.

Here we go:
  • No, thank you.
  • I wouldn’t like that.
  • I don’t think so. Sorry
  • I don’t feel like at the moment.
  • Maybe later.
  • I am good here. Thank you.
  • Perhaps another time.
  • I am sorry. Not now.

#5. When do you need to give consent

The next thing that you probably need to teach your child after enriching him with a good vocabulary to articulate his or her consent is to know when exactly he or she needs to use his or her consent.
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Yes or No the choice is always YOURS

Here are 6 situations where consent is needed:
  • While being asked for a hug.
  • While being asked for a kiss.
  • While being touched wrongly in private places.
  • While sharing secrets.
  • While he or she needs to borrow something
  • While sharing personal things with someone.

#6. How to say No politely

Teach your child that ‘No’ does not necessarily label you to be rude and disobedient. It means you know your rights well and can take decisions.
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Saying No is not rudeness

We can say No if someone approaches us for a physical closeness like hugs or kiss or anything else if we do not feel like it is appropriate or comfortable for us.

#7. When should you speak to your Mamma

Teaching children about sexual abuse might seem to be a difficult task. However, if you give simple and clear information to your child about private parts and privacy I am sure today’s children are smart enough to understand things.
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‘No one should touch you without your consent!

Take time and slowly teach your child the following basic things:

Body is your personal belonging. You do not and should not allow anyone to touch your body whether out of love or as fun. It could be your close relations, your own aunt or uncle, grandparents, neighbors, babysitters or cook or neighbor or anyone.

There are better ways to communicate feelings other than physical touch and closeness.The moment these basic rules or conditions seem to be threatened or your child feels that someone has approached her or tried to approach her wrongly he or she would immediately report to you.

#8. Never feel Scared

The next thing that you need to educate your child is that there are good and bad people living in this world. Good people are those who respect your consent and never forces you or make you feel scared or uncomfortable.

On the other hand, there are bad people who would not like to accept your No as your right and would always force you and sometimes blackmail you for doing something against your will. They are bad people and all you need to do is to find your safe place and stay away from that person.
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Speak up! You have the right to consent.

Never show your weakness to bad people and make them realize that you are scared if they threaten you. Speak up and Speak out to your parents whenever you feel you are forced, threatened or bullied by someone physically.

#9. Keep secret passwords for Consent

This is one practice I always do with my children. We have secret passwords for kids that they should never share with anyone else.

When the children are approached by anyone saying anything that your parents have told me to anything as simple as combing the hair or washing his or her hands and feet after playing outside, or going for a walk, always ask for a password!
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Password for consent

Tell your child that it is for sure that your parents would not ask anyone to do things for you which is anywhere related to coming close to you.

#10. Trust your gut feeling

We often have our inner voice or conscience that tell us something when we are being approached by someone physically. Teach your child that he or she should trust his or her inner voice which is the gut feeling. If he or she feels something wrong at any time, then he or she should give negative consent and never think twice!
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Trust your instincts, that is your inner voice.

Therefore, telling children that you have the right to give your consent is not enough. We need to equip them and aid them with all the tools and necessary skills that they become confident to deal with it. According to a report, every 2 minutes a woman in the US is being sexually assaulted. In India, children are being raped and molested every other day and we simply feel sorry and horrified by the brutality of crimes.

It is time that we take a step further and start teaching our children to value consent so that they grow up to be a civilized individual as man and woman to respect privacy and the power of No. I hope the 10 ways to teach your child would aid you with resources to start teaching your children to value consent and know how to act on it.

Cheers
Happy Parenting!


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