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Let's Talk About Consent

Friday, 8 Sep 2023

As a parent, you’ve probably heard discussions about ‘consent’, but you may not know what it entails or how to introduce the topic to your child.

Although we often think of consent in terms of intimate sexual relationships, consent can apply to other situations as well and is an important concept for children to learn about from an early age. Understanding consent can lead to better relationships with family, friends, peers and eventually, romantic partners.

In simple terms, consent is permission for something to happen or an agreement to do something involving your body. Even common everyday situations such as getting a haircut, visiting the doctor or allowing a coach to place their hands on your body to demonstrate technique, require consent. Respect and honest communication underpin the consent conversation.

In this podcast, Let’s Talk About Consentwe investigate how to introduce consent concepts with younger children.

Author of Welcome to Consent and practising physician Dr Melissa Kang says the conversation begins with giving children an understanding of their personal space and boundaries, as well as helping them to understand and identify the boundaries of others.

Consent education is also about helping children to recognise when a situation doesn’t feel comfortable. It also helps young people to understand that their bodies are their own and they have the right to make decisions about their body.

Speaking to children openly and honestly in an age-appropriate way, teaching them about private and public parts and using correct names is important. When children understand what is ‘okay’ touch and ‘not okay’ touch they are empowered to stay safe.

Parent Rebecca shares how she weaves consent teaching into everyday situations like playdates. We also hear from Life Ed Talk About It program senior educator Lane Norman, who is part of an expert team of educators who cover topics including puberty, sexual health, consent and respectful relationships.

So don’t put the consent talk in the too-hard basket any longer. Consent is an important conversation to have with young people, and when it’s all unpacked, it’s not as complicated as you might think.

Life Ed Parenting Podcast

With the help of experts in the field, the Life Ed Parenting Podcast shares answers and advice on the big issues facing children, parents and teachers today.