Consent is a concept that kids need to be taught at a young age so that they can internalize it as they grow older. Historically, conversations about consent have waited until puberty and the onset of sexual education, but there is tremendous virtue in beginning the dialogue earlier so that consent, which is not simply a sexual issue, is understood in the broadest possible terms. From a young age, it’s good practice for parents to teach kids about the importance of understanding, setting, and respecting personal boundaries. This not only keeps kids from getting in trouble, but makes them aware of inappropriate behaviors directed at them.
That’s why Fatherly built this guide to teach young kids about consent. We talked to sex educators, therapists, and parents about introducing kids to the idea of consent, explaining expectations around touch, and reinforcing the notion that kids have dominion over their own bodies.