There’s never a bad time to talk about consent. In fact, since it's at the root of so many societal problems, you’d think we’d be talking about it every day. Still, most of us didn't grow up talking about consent. I know I didn’t hear the word until I was in my 20s. That's why, as parents, we need to be actively discussing consent with our kids. Thankfully, facilitating conversations about consent on Valentine’s Day isn't as difficult as one might assume. In fact, there are more than a few age-appropriate ways to discuss the subject, and in a way your child can understand.
I think the best way to go about discussing a topic that's, sadly, still being debated by grown-ass adults, is by sprinkling it into a variety of conversations. Yes, I could have one serious talk with my child, going over what consent is, giving examples, explaining how to give it and get it and what to do when a situation goes south. But, in my opinion, that’s not enough. These discussions need to be as commonplace as commenting on the weather, or asking your partner what's for dinner. That is how we end systemic sexual violence and make sure everyone has safe, healthy relationships going forward.
Plus, younger children just won’t understand the nuances of interpersonal relationships and how consent plays a vital role. I mean, they can barely sit still through an entire episode of Super Why, so what do us parents expect? That's why I’ve put together a list of conversations that low-key deal with consent that are kid appropriate. See if some of these help you start these important conversations with your own little ones on Valentine’s Day.