Mom's Approach To Teaching Kids About Consent Goes Viral On Reddit
Just because it used to be ok doesn’t make it so now
It’s 2019 and in the era of the #MeToo movement, you may (wrongly) assume that men understand consent. But it’s clear from research (where men still confuse sexual interest with consent), public testimony (we’re looking at you, Brett Kavanaugh), and being a general observer of the population that it’s still a confusing subject for many. We’re not sure why, but apparently some feel there’s room for debate on the topic. One mom posted a unique story about teaching her daughter and sons the meaning of consent, and it’s actually pretty genius.
Reddit user Punchyouinthewiener (love) posted a rather interesting conversation she had with her kids about the meaning of consent that lent itself naturally to a situation her tween daughter had with her younger brother.
“Recently we’ve had an issue where my daughter (11) has asked her younger brother (10) to stop going in her room at night,” she wrote. “They have always been very close since they are only 17 months apart and at night sometimes laugh and watch videos or read books, etc. But she’s just started puberty and doesn’t feel comfortable anymore.”
Their mom went on to say her son will still, from time to time, go into his sister’s room when she’s sleeping to borrow a charger or when he has trouble sleeping, and she finally had to give him an ultimatum. She said when their older brother, 14, overheard the conversation he stuck up for his little bro.
“That’s not fair,” her son said. “She’s always telling him to come to her room so they can watch videos and I hear them talking and laughing in there and now she’s gonna suddenly say he can’t and he’s gonna get in trouble?” And that was the perfect opportunity to teach all of her kids about consent.
“Just because somebody invites you over one time, doesn’t mean you’re invited over forever,” she said. “They are allowed to tell you when it is and isn’t ok for you to come over, and you have to respect that.
Anybody has the right to say they aren’t enjoying something anymore, at any time, even if they were previously enjoying it, and you have to listen and respect that and stop.”
Many were quick to jump in and applaud the mom for handling the situation, though not a sexual one, in a manner that was a perfect lesson in consent:
“Most importantly, before doing something with someone, you need to get consent, every time, and sleeping/passed out people can’t give consent,” the mom continued. “So while it wasn’t about sex because it’s not a sexual issue, conversations about boundaries and respect and privacy are ultimately conversations about consent and we have to keep having them over and over so the lines never get blurred.”
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