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CONSENT & PLEASURE
Teaching your child the importance of knowing what you like and being able to tell others what you want 

What is consent?

"Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something" – and beyond that…

  • Consent is an agreement

  • Consent is a value, a code of conduct around trust & empathy

  • It’s about respecting someone else & about self-respect

  • Consent is a way to create connection

  • Consent requires self-knowledge around what gives you pleasure and what doesn’t

  • Consent requires self-confidence: asserting your needs, advocating for your desires & standing up for yourself
  • Expressing enthusiastic consent gives people greater self-respect & self-knowledge

  • Consent can be granted, refused or withdrawn via body language or facial expressions as well as noises or words 

  • Consent can be refused without the word “no”: “I’m not in the mood. Could we just…?” or “I’m not comfortable with that right now…” or “No, but let’s…”

 

Consent needs to be enthusiastic & ongoing – and it can change along the way

Start safeguarding early. If you make it clear to your child that they have a right to bodily autonomy, to defining their boundaries and personal space, you will have laid the cornerstones of consent. Also important is having your child learn to recognise the difference between safe and unwanted touch 

“Teach your kids that ’no’ and ‘stop’ are important words and should be honoured. One way to explain this may be: ‘Sarah said “no”, and when we hear “no” we always stop what we’re doing immediately’”

This Is How You Teach Kids About Consent – The Good Men Project (HuffPost, 2017) 

Practise consent by example (ask if you can kiss your child goodnight), give them bodily autonomy (let them choose what to wear), teach them to listen to their bodies and how to handle physical rejection (because everyone is in control of their own body). Above all, believe your child, says the Gottman Institute in Beyond The Talk

CONSENT SCRIPT

 

Do you know what sexual consent is? It’s actually pretty simple.

 

“Yes!” is the only word that means yes. “No” means no, as do a lot of other words, and sometimes no words at all.

Remember, consent means that the person you’re with feels safe and wants to do what you’re doing.

If you’re not sure, ask. Even if asking seems awkward, it’s the right thing to do

 

Campaign to Empower Dads to Teach Their Sons About Consent (White Ribbon, November 2017)

Young children will naturally explore their bodies and what feels good to them physically.

 

Self-knowledge and curiosity are healthy – so be careful not to project adult shame or worries about sexualisation onto them. Your message: that’s OK but do it in private

Not all young people know that consent can change or be withdrawn at any point, and that it’s also crucial to notice body language.

Teach your child to use and hear sensitive refusals: “I like you but I’m not ready” or “No, not yet…” More from Jennifer Cassaly here

​Watch it first, then suggest that your young teen watch Screwball! This award-winning 12-minute video covers consent, sex & the impact of porn in a loving teen relationship. It’s entertaining, funny and relatable

The truth is, we most often have sex for pleasure. So why do parents and teachers prefer to address sex from the angle of risks: pregnancy, STIs and sexual assault? Acknowledging that sex should feel good will help your child can stand up for themselves later in life if something feels wrong. Consent and pleasure – knowing what feels good and being able to say what you like – are connected…

We’re a generation of adults who have been deeply impacted by not having awareness and understanding of our bodies and of consent 
 

– sexuality educator Melissa Pintor Carnagey, from How to Talk to Your Kids About Consent

More help with #Consent
bbc consent.jpg

BBC | Consent

Written for young people, this useful simple overview starts out by stating: ”Consent in simple terms means choosing for something to happen” Go to BBC Advice > 

BROOK | Sex and Consent

Advice for young people on consensual and non-consensual sex, including info on the law, from Brook, the sexual-health charity for under-25s  Go to Sex And Consent >

can i kiss you.jpeg

MIKE DOMITRZ | Can I Kiss You?

Subtitled “A Thought-Provoking Look at Relationships, Intimacy & Sexual Assault”, this book by the founder of the Date Safe Project gives examples of situations and what to say. Read more on consent by Mike Domitrz here   Go to Can I Kiss You >

BROOK | ASK. LISTEN. RESPECT video

Watch the 1-minute ASK. LISTEN. RESPECT video for ages 11-16 which shows how to ask for consent, what enthusiastic verbal consent looks like and how to respond to “no” respectfully  Go to Teach Consent > 

Remember: every child is different. Adjust these suggestions for the age and stage of your child. Children with special educational needs and disabilities, looked-after children and children who have experienced abuse may all need different support.

 

If you’re in doubt about your child’s emotional, physical or psychological development, please seek the advice of a professional

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