Teaching about consent
What is Consent?
Consent means giving someone a choice about touch or actions and respecting their answer. With children, we often use the language "asking for permission."
At this age, we want to lay the foundation for setting boundaries, making decisions about their bodies, asking for permission, and responding appropriately when someone says no to them.
Besides consent, kids need to learn that they can set boundaries and limits on when and how their bodies are touched and by whom. Some tips regarding boundaries follow.
Conversations around consent should be ongoing. Here’s how you can incorporate consent into everyday conversations with your child.
Ways to ask your child for consent:
- “Do you want a hug goodbye today? We could also wave or high five.”
- “Can I sit beside you while we read this book?”
- "Can I tell your teacher that your grandma died?"
Ways to model consent:
- “Do you need a break from tickling, or are tickles still okay with you?”
- “It's OK if you don't want a goodnight hug."
- “Can I help you put your jacket on?”
Ways to teach your child to ask for consent with other children:
- “Do you want to play with the red or the blue car?”
- "Do you want to hold hands when we walk to lunch?"
- “Can I sit next to you on the bus?”
We teach children through our RSE curriculum:
- Your body belongs to you
- You get to decide what happens to your body
- No one should touch you without permission
- Telling someone not to touch you is NOT rude
- Consent means always choosing to respect others' boundaries
- Respecting someone’s boundaries shows that you care about them
Thanks to SafeSecureKids for this information. We recommend their site: