Have you spoken to your child about sex and consent yet?
Being a parent is compiled of so many firsts and big moments you look forward to with your children. One of them most parents do not look forward to is Sex Education. Most parents find this conversation very uncomfortable. Let’s face it, my generation really didn’t get much talks as our parent’s generation did not talk about Sex at all!! But in this generation, I am surprised that 10 year old’s know about Sex and it’s not from our parents, but from the internet, movies and magazines.
Most teens today are aware that consent is a thing but it can be a little abstract. They may however not know how to apply it in their own lives. As today’s culture continues to emphasize the importance of consent, it’s increasingly necessary that we teach our children about consent. It may be uncomfortable but it is important to make sure our children make informed decisions and it will reduce the likelihood that they will feel pressured to engage in sexual behaviors that make them uncomfortable or that they aren’t ready for.
In case you missed it: See the Skills that Dads should teach their 13 year old daughters in 2020.
Here are some basic principles we have at Protect A Girls Image Organization, that you can teach your children about consent;
1) Anyone has a right to say NO.
You would be surprised that some teenage girls do not realize that saying NO to sex is an option. How do we as parents fail to communicate that?? PGIO insists that parents tell their children- despite gender or sexual orientation- that it’s their right to say no to sexual activity.
2) One person’s No always trumps anyone else’s Yes.
Parents should teach their children that sex should happen only when both parties are fully on board. No matter how much a partner wants to do something sexual, the not ready person has the final say.
3) You can say No without being rude.
It is helpful to teach our children a sample language they can use to say No if they fear being rude to a partner. For example, “I don’t want to go any further tonight” “ Let’s take it slow” “I really like you but am not ready for that”
4) You are allowed to change your mind at any time.
Young people think it is okay to do something sexual only to realize they are not okay. We should educate them that they do not owe it to the other person to continue.
5) No one owes you sex, even if you are in a relationship, even if you’ve done it before.
Sometimes teens feel that if they have done a sexual activity with a partner once,they have to do it again. They should be informed that each romantic or sexual encounter is a separate event and the people involved can choose each time what they do and don’t do.
Did you miss this? : Myths about Sexual Assault.
6) Don’t expect someone to read your body language or guess how you are feeling.
It is fine to start with body language like moving their hand away but if that does not work, use words like “NO” OR “Don’t do that” or “Slow down I am not ready”.
7) If they say one thing and act like they want another thing, stand up and walk away.
When in doubt, and if you cannot walk away ask directly what they want. Teach young women to always be firm with their No, to get louder, push them away, run out of the room- whatever it takes to be safe. A partner who isn’t listening to their No is not respectful. She deserves better.
Sexual Assault is the most under-reported crime. It is most likely that a girl will never report a sexual assault. At PGIO, we believe that teaching our children about consent is the first step in dealing with this menace. We create awareness through workshops and seminars especially in schools.
If you wish to be part of the conversation about consent, please Scroll down to the Donate Button or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org