Teach your teenage kids the idea of consent. Here’s what you need to do:
Nowadays, it seems like all we hear about in the news is sexual violence. And although that’s not something anyone would want to think about first thing in the morning, it’s a necessary topic that concerns all of us. In fact, it concerns some of us more than others. For the next generations not to repeat the same mistakes, we as parents must teach them all there is to know about the concept of consent.
But teaching consent means that we understand it in the first place. However, in reality, many people still don’t know a thing about it. It’s, after all, why there’s so much sexual harassment going on all over the world.
Still, there’s no reason to despair. In the following text, we’ll explain how to reach out to your kids and teach them all there is to know about consent for teenagers. So, let’s jump into it immediately, shall we?
Make Them Understand Consent
Although it might feel uncomfortable, talking about sex with your kids is unavoidable at some point. But before you get into how children come about, you should make sure your child understands what consent is. No worries — it’s not that hard.
Aside from discussing consent verbally, you should show them examples. For instance, you can tell your child to ask another if they would want a hug. In case the other kid says no, tell yours it’s okay. They can just wave to them. This is, of course, for small children.
If you set the rules straight during their first few years, talking to them about consent to sex will be a lot easier when they hit puberty. Many therapists suggest that this show-and-tell tactic works perfectly. Hence, do try it out as it will form a strong base at the right time.
Introduce Sex Education
Once basic consent is established, it’s all downhill from there. Having that important talk about sexual activities will come easy as one, two, three when it’s time. Nevertheless, while having that conversation, emphasize the importance of what they already know — consent.
Sex education is a necessity. Nope! We’re not talking about Netflix’s hit series. We’re talking about the real thing. All kids should understand how genders differ and where babies come from. Nevertheless, they should also know there’s nothing wrong with how they look.
Keep the Conversation Open
Talking about sex and consent is easy if you don’t let your kids ask questions. You say what you have to say and then consider the whole deal over. However, that’s not how you should go about it. Every parent should keep the convo open for questions.
Sure enough, giving answers to some topics that your kid might bring up might be more than uncomfortable, but it’s necessary. Regardless of what they ask, you must give them an answer. Be it this or that, don’t avoid any topic. It’s all helpful for when they grow up.
Teach Them to Say ‘No’
A major part of teaching verbal consent to your kids is to make them understand that they should say ‘no’ whenever they feel like it. Many parents get this wrong, leading to their children being unable to distinguish between pleasure and obligation.
However, it’s not just about your kids saying ‘no.’ They should as well know that it’s time to stop if someone else says the same. After all, consent works both ways. What feels good for one doesn’t mean that it will be acceptable for the other.
Help Them Figure Out Boundaries
In most cases, initiating sexual activity comes about when kids hit puberty. Their hormones start raging, and it’s a wonder how they don’t hop onto anything that moves. Jokes aside, many examples of sexual assault happen when they are of that age. The reason is, however, simple — they don’t understand boundaries.
For your kid to understand what’s okay and what’s not, they need to figure it out back when they are little. It all goes back to that example that we’ve mentioned. If another kid doesn’t want yours to give them a hug, explain how that’s normal. Different people find different things acceptable, and so should yours too.
Check Them Before and After Going Out
Lastly, we need to mention dating. Of course, there’s no reason not to allow your boy or girl to go out with other teens. It’s all normal. Just remember how excited you were the first time you were on a date. Hence, you shouldn’t ruin it for them. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a serious talk both before and after they go out.
Once they ask you whether it’s okay if they go out with another teen on a date, you should sit them down and explain a couple of things. Tell them how it’s necessary to respect the other person’s boundaries, to understand what ‘no’ means (for both of them), and to practice safe sex if the date goes in that direction.
But as we’ve said. You should also have a talk when they return. Of course, this conversation shouldn’t look like a Secret Service interrogation. It should, in fact, be like going through the points that you’ve already made. In case something bad happens, it will be easy to notice. Teens aren’t so good at hiding emotion, as you already know.
All in all, all healthy relationships come down to consent. No matter if you have a boy or a girl, they should understand the concept on time. From saying ‘no’ to knowing that it’s okay to say it, they should be respectful of all people they come in contact with. And you, as their role model, should lead by example, encouraging consent every step of the way.