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Consent article

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February 8th, 2018, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 377
I’m glad this article is up, but I wish it was a bit more. The thing is, teaching consent is an everyday thing and shows in everyday situations, especially with small children who are learning boundaries. I wish that the article said more. I wish it said that consent and respect go together. That consent is easier to teach when respect is established. If you teach a child how to show respect in more ways than physical labor or touch, like verbal communication and posture and facial expression, than it would make perfect sense to them why they don’t have to give in when a situation gets awkward.
So if a child respects his grandparents, verbally responsive, polite, and not rude in demeanor; than it’s a lot harder to pressure said child into unwanted physical contact with an over expressive grandpa/ma. If a child is never pressed into a non consensual relationship of any magnitude than they are not likely to feel it’s their right as friend, peer, employer, or otherwise to compromise someone else’s consensual boundaries.
It should be unheard of to have the conversation “give Suzy a hug and make it better “
“But I (Suzy) don’t want a hug”
“Accept the hug Suzy, or you aren’t forgiving him!”
Why force a three year old to accept physical touch they are uncomfortable with, continue the habit till she is ten, and then expect her to have the ability to say “no” around peer pressure even if she didn’t want the attention?
Instead, I venture, you should teach respect. If Suzy doesn’t want a hug, you should still apologize, and she should forgive you at her discretion. If a child is uncomfortable with someone you should never force hugs, kisses, or lap sitting with them, even grandparents uncles and aunts! But little one can still be respectful, saying their greetings and farewells without rudeness or demands. They can be amiable in a crude world, and they can be unoffended when others choose not to ‘consent’ to their wishes. My kids at 2, 3, and 5 know I respect their boundaries, but I expect them to do the same for others. No is always no, stop is always stop, and yes is only yes.

Sorry for the long post, I’ll end it here, comment below on your methodology of teaching consent or your thoughts on the topic. Please forgive the poor punctuation and grammar.
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February 12th, 2018, 04:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 5
I haven't read the article, I'll do that now, but there's one thing you said that I just don't agree with, and that's the 3 year old hugging thing. Children can be stubborn and need to be guided and not left to their own devices all the time, so encouraging them to make up and forgive one another isn't a drastic situation for me. At 10 years old it would be different, but a child saying "I don't want a hug" meaning they don't want to make up and be friends, despite falling out over a petty issue, isn't the same as a child saying "I don't want him to touch me". I think we need to focus consent on the right audience, yes means yes, no means no. there are some parents who don't ever say no to their children because it's "negative parenting" and what not, so each to their own, but I feel like you took that example a little out of context, when it's toddlers bickering rather than a matter of touching somebody. I don't want to sound argumentative, just a point to consider so a healthy debate.
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February 22nd, 2018, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 377
I see your point, and I understand that there are those who disagree. I am a person who’s primary ‘love language’ as they would say is physical touch, and I know that even as a toddler that I could be perfectly forgiving and still not want to touch someone because touch means so much more and should not be forced. Also forcing a child who is more aware of physical boundaries to discard them because it’s the ‘right thing to do’ or ‘would be rude not to’ is hurting their ability to draw a personal line for themselves on what they feel comfortable with.
Though it could be seen as stubborn or unsubmissive in a child to express that they just don’t want to, we as the adults and caretakers need to make sure that we are responding to what they mean and not assume that it is an adult reaction in a child. They have a lot more going on in their minds and bodies than a lot of people realize, and though they express themselves simply there could be a complex reason for their feelings. We should aim as I mentioned to teach them other forms of respect so that it’s never necessary to cross a physical boundary. At the same time, if both kids want to hug it out... go for it!
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