It’s difficult to discuss sex with your children. Even though we live in a society overflowing with sexuality, as parents, we are more efficient than ever at communicating with our HOME Parenting groups. As parents, we are accountable for teaching our children about the normality of masturbation, the loss of one’s virginity, and how to conduct safe sex. Still, we fail to teach our sons how to recognize and seek Consent when teaching sons. So here are five of the ways you can teach your kids about consent.
A sexual assault story is nearly implausible to miss on social media or the news, but the focus of these tales always appears to be on how we might better assist the victims in their recovery. When addressing prevention, many people believe that girls should avoid wearing suggestive clothing, never walk alone at night, take self-defense classes, and never drink at a party.
What little attention is paid to is how to prevent our lads from developing into men who are capable of such horrendous deeds. When addressing prevention, many people believe that girls should avoid wearing suggestive clothing, never walk alone at night, take self-defense classes, and never drink at a party.
However, the issue isn’t so simple. When it comes to sexism and violence, it’s not just about sexism; it’s about sexism, violence, gender inequality, and sexual politics. Because rape culture is created by misinformation and a lack of elementary education, it is never too early to begin teaching children about the proper understanding of Consent.
Just a few approaches to start a conversation on this complex subject with your children, who are now teenagers, including the ones listed below:
1. Let’s ask Sarah whether she’d like a hug right now. If your children are still young, teach them to ask for permission before exhibiting physical affection. If they don’t want it, don’t force it on them, even if it’s from a family member.
2. Encourage your kids to understand that saying no is a powerful word and that they must stop what they are doing quickly if someone orders them to do so. They should also be encouraged to say no, loud and clear. Tell them it’s okay to want no longer to spend time with their friend if they don’t respect their “no.”
3. Educate your child on how important it is to trust your “gut instincts.” Demonstrate how, even if we don’t know why we might get a weird feeling inside when someone or something doesn’t feel quite right. As humans, our brains have constructed this way to protect us from danger, so tell them to always listen to that inner voice and follow its advice. Encourage them to listen to their intuitions and follow their gut feelings.
4. Your children’s sexuality and Consent can get more detailed as they become older. It’s important to instill in them the idea that giving Consent doesn’t imply continuing to touch someone sexually until they hear “no.” Some of them may be dismissive of your efforts but keep in mind that your efforts to normalize the topic of Consent will benefit them in the future when they are faced with a potentially vital decision.
5. You can utilize examples from the media — movies, and television in particular — to highlight what healthy sexuality actually is and how Consent is frequently erroneously depicted for students in middle school and into high school. While watching a sex scene in a movie with my 15-year-old son last week, I saw that a man and woman were still kissing, even though the woman tried to push him away. Once she was on the bed, he lowered her skirt and began having sex with the woman.
A man’s job should be to take care of his family, right? After a simple query from my son, we got into a more in-depth talk about nonverbal communication and how to recognize and appreciate it. Make it a point to stress the importance of respecting a person’s “no” whenever possible.
Despite the best parental restrictions in the world, our children will always be able to find the answers to questions they might have about their bodies and sex on the Internet. Even though they are naturally curious, if you start an open conversation with them at the beginning of their lives—if they know that you won’t tell them that they are too young to think about “those” kinds of things—they are more likely to come to you for information rather than other, often erroneous, sources for information.
It is not sufficient to inform youngsters that sexual assault is wrong. Every two minutes in the United States, a woman is sexually assaulted by a male. We as a culture need to pay greater attention to the subject of Consent in sex education to reduce that shocking statistic.
The complexities of sexually charged circumstances call our children well-educated and well-equipped with the intrinsic skills and knowledge to deal with them. Until that time comes, there is no hope for us to make a difference.