One of the difficulties faced in the discourse around consent, is that we often only use the word, or begin the discussion, when in regards to sexual encounters. Consent is fundamental to all relationships, and to respecting one another’s agency and bodily autonomy. With children, we often send mixed messages. Tickling is a prime example. Kids often scream, “No,” or “Stop,” while smiling and laughing, so we defy their expressed wishes. Children are often made to hug or kiss friends and relatives without option.
This graphic from Planned Parenthood Ottawa highlights some of the ways we can actively teach consent while respecting the agency of children.
– Brett Goldberg
Visit Planned Parenthood for more information, resources, or to find a location near you.