If asked, many of us would say that we really want our kids to develop consent skills. Yet, caregiving children seems to involve MANY moments where we coerce and even force children to do things they don’t want to do (getting dressed, eating, going to bed). There are many common parenting practices that undermine a child’s capacity to develop consent skills.
Some think that consent is only important to teach kids as they mature and begin to develop sexualitly. I strongly disagree! I believe that by the time children are teenagers they already have elaborate internal constructs of what consent is which is built, primarily on their experiences in early childhood.
How do we raise kids in ways that honors their bodies, helps them learn how to respect others, and still gets through day to day life?!
I am holding these questions with you. I have put a lot of thought into it, and would love to share with you some ideas on taking care of young children ways encourage them to have a deep understanding of consent.
- Diaper changing and toileting as foundational consent practices
- Naming genitals, talking about “private parts”
- Navigating dressing and bedtime while still honoring consent
- The importance of receiving and giving authentic “yes” and “no”
- Rough play as opportunity for consent skills
- Self touch, pleasure, and shame
This class will be taught by Ashley Newton. Ashley is a Somatic Movement Therapist and Child Development Specialist. Her deep love for helping children thrive has been the center of her life and work for 20 years. Her studies include a BA in Child Development, an MA in Infant Mental Health, and teaching certificates in Body-Mind Centering, Reiki, Yoga. She is passionate about helping families find ease in daily life, and supporting parents in raising connected, joyful, and spiritually alive children.
*You can connect with her more on IG and her Website:https://www.elevating.family/
Consent in Early Childhood