In the age of Me Too and Time’s Up, there is a lot more awareness to issues surrounding sexual harassment, body autonomy, and boundaries. The upcoming book Consent (For Kids!): Boundaries, Respect, And Being In Charge of You, written by Rachel Brian, co-creator of the viral "Tea Consent" video addresses just that, in a way that younger minds can understand. And guys, it should really be required reading for kids (and parents) of all ages.
As parents, you sometimes don’t think twice about piercing your baby’s ears, or telling your child to hug a relative… but maybe we should. And that’s the point of Consent (For Kids!). In Tea Consent, the team behind the video explains sexual consent by using the analogy of making a cup of tea for someone. In her book, though, Brian takes it one step further and explores the idea of what body autonomy and consent means for kids in an easy-to-understand style. It helps that the pages are filled with illustrations that will likely capture the attention of its reader (i.e. your kid).
Consent (For Kids!) explores topics like what consent actually consists of and how to set boundaries. It even delves deeper and touches upon subjects like if it’s okay to change your mind (it always is), and even non-sexual issues like what makes a friendship healthy or how to support your buds in various situations. There’s not a lot of overly complicated language or ideas to encumber the book’s goal, which is to empower kids to feel in control when it comes to their bodies, their thoughts, and their feelings.
What’s great about the book is that it really doesn’t target a specific age group. It’s relevant for tweens and teens, as well as those in elementary school. And if your kid is still practicing his or her sight words, you should still grab a copy and read it to them, because it’s never too early to teach your children about their rights when it comes to their bodies.
To say that the book is eye-opening for parents is an understatement. You don’t realize how much autonomy you might be taking away from your child by telling your kid to, say, go sit on Santa’s lap, or to give Grandpa Joe a big hug and kiss. And that’s the point of Consent (For Kids!) ($16), which will be released on January 7. It might teach all of us a lesson on what’s okay —and what’s not— and how we all — big, small, young, and old — have the right to set our own boundaries and how to respect others'.