It is essential for kids to learn what consent means, even at a young age. Talk to your kids about consent today.
Talking about sex and reproductive health with your children is important. It may be uncomfortable initially, but open communication about these topics starting at a young age is important. One of the topics you will want to talk to your kids about is consent.
What is Consent?
Consent is permission or agreement for something to happen. Teaching kids about the importance of consent is essential. Sexual consent means agreeing to be sexual with another person. Without consent, sexual activity is considered sexual assault or rape.
Children should be taught that before engaging in an activity with someone whether it is sex or something else with another person there needs to be consent. Children should know that it is important to be honest about what is allowed and what is not with others. Boundaries, agreement, and respect are required between people who want to participate in activities together.
Planned Parenthood says that consent is as easy as FRIES, which stands for:
- Freely Given
This means that consent should be considered without the influence of pressure, manipulation, drugs, or alcohol. Consent is reversible, meaning that you can change your mind. Anyone giving consent should be fully informed of what they are consenting to. The person giving consent should be enthusiastic and want to engage. Consent is specific, meaning agreeing to one thing does not mean you agree to everything. Consent is never implied just because you’ve done it before.
Why Should I Talk to My Kids About Consent?
Consent is not just about sex. It is a concept that even young children can benefit from learning. Consent applies to making boundaries for oneself about what they are willing and not willing to do. Kids need to learn that their opinion matters and that they have choices. They also need to know that they have to respect the choices and boundaries of others. Start the conversation about consent with your kids today.
- Parenthood, P. (n.d.). What is sexual consent?: Facts about rape & sexual assault. Planned Parenthood. Retrieved February 8, 2023