It takes less than 3 minutes to teach our kids about consent
In the wake of the Brock Turner case and wannabe President of the United States Donald Trump's promotion of sexual assault against women, a whole lot of parents have consent on their minds.
In an ideal world, we'd be able to protect our children from sexual assault, but the truth is, we can't. But we can do the next best thing — and that's to teach them about consent from a young age. It doesn't have to be complicated. For very young kids, sex doesn't even have to come into it. It's all about personal boundaries and giving people permission to have contact with their bodies.
For most of us, consent is easy to understand. If you want to do something with another person, you ask if they want to. If they answer with a genuine yes (and they're not drunk, being coerced or under any other type of threat), you can go ahead. But if they say no, you just don't.
This is what we need to get across to our kids early on. And a perfect starting point is a brilliant new video by Rachel Brian of Blue Seat Studios.
Brian is the brain behind the amazing sexual consent and tea video that went viral last year, and for the child-friendly version, she enlisted the help of her 7-year-old daughter, Lola, who is the narrator. Lola actually inspired the video after she told her mom a story about being kissed by a boy at school.
The message throughout is clear: "This is your body. And only you get to decide what to do with your body."
It also ends by making an important point: Children are never able to consent to certain things, such as voting, entering into legal contracts or participating in any kind of sexual behavior. "So if an adult does something that kids can’t consent to, that’s not OK," says Lola in the video. "The adult is wrong, and it’s not the kid’s fault."
My two kids (ages 6 and 8) have watched it. They got it. It should be compulsory viewing for every child across the world. Now, could someone do a version for Donald Trump please?