There’s a growing conversation about healthy consent among adults, which is a good thing—awareness is key. However, at the same time, the conversation is an opportunity to educate kids about the basics of consent so they can develop healthy lifelong relationships.
The topic may not be the easiest one for you as a parent to bring up, but according to an article in Today’s Parent on the topic, you can broach the subject to kids as early as age three, and it doesn’t have to be specifically about sex. Here are seven tips to teach your kids about establishing boundaries and respecting them…
1. Lead by Example
Today’s Parent says permission regarding bodies can be taught right from the start, and you can actively take part by communicating your intentions to your children. For example, the source notes you can explain you’re putting balm on their skin during a diaper change—which gives the child a clear reason why you’re touching them.
On the same note, you can ask your child for permission for routine clothing changes—in the event they have wet pajamas, for example. “If you’re pressed for time and wrestling with a toddler who absolutely won’t get dressed, you can take control of the situation,” it adds, but explains you need to tell them why (you’re in a hurry).