(Photo Courtesy of Canva)
September 30, 2021
by Kim Cook with Anna Ambrus
Empowering our kids through consent helps them develop into caring adults.
Empowering our youth through agency, empathy and decision-making can manifest through consent. Whether you are aware of it or not, you obtain and give consent every day. It is not just sexual and can be emotional and physical too.
Our children face these kinds of situations every day starting in early childhood. What we can do to prevent coercion and harm is to always empower our youth of the control they have over their choices, their bodies, and the overall power in saying “yes” or “no.” As parents, we must cultivate an atmosphere of autonomy for our children so that they can make healthy and informed choices based on their needs and wants. It is part of being a human after all.
When our children make choices, set boundaries, and honor them, they are developing a sense of self and a sense of empathy for others.
When children are aware of their voices, express needs and wants, and are aware of their control, this extends into them having a healthy sexual life, preventing harm/abuse, and engaging in consensual sexual activities. Our kids have power and when they are aware of themselves and others, they can form healthy relationships and live healthy lives.
Now it’s up to us to instill these skills and to cultivate the process of obtaining and giving consent in everyday life.
Kim is the founder of Teen World Confidential and International Sex Education Day. She is a former elementary school nurse and has certifications in middle and high school health education and LGBT Studies. Read more