WHAT IF YOU HAD TO LISTEN TO THIS
A PRIDE OF THIS
A pride of squeakers.
Teaching Consent to Small Children
A friend and I were out with our kids when another family’s two-year-old came up. She began hugging my friend’s 18-month-old, following her around and smiling at her. My friend’s little girl looked like she wasn’t so sure she liked this, and at that moment the other little girl’s mom came up and got down on her little girl’s level to talk to her.
“Honey, can you listen to me for a moment? I’m glad you’ve found a new friend, but you need to make sure to look at her face to see if she likes it when you hug her. And if she doesn’t like it, you need to give her space. Okay?”
Two years old, and already her mother was teaching her about consent.
My daughter Sally likes to color on herself with markers. I tell her it’s her body, so it’s her choice. Sometimes she writes her name, sometimes she draws flowers or patterns. The other day I heard her talking to her brother, a marker in her hand.
“Bobby, do you mind if I color on your leg?”
Bobby smiled and moved himself closer to his sister. She began drawing a pattern on his leg with a marker while he watched, fascinated. Later, she began coloring on the sole of his foot. After each stoke, he pulled his foot back, laughing. I looked over to see what was causing the commotion, and Sally turned to me.
“He doesn’t mind if I do this,” she explained, “he is only moving his foot because it tickles. He thinks its funny.” And she was right. Already Bobby had extended his foot to her again, smiling as he did so.
What I find really fascinating about these two anecdotes is that they both deal with the consent of children not yet old enough to communicate verbally. In both stories, the older child must read the consent of the younger child through nonverbal cues. And even then, consent is not this ambiguous thing that is difficult to understand.
Teaching consent is ongoing, but it starts when children are very young. It involves both teaching children to pay attention to and respect others’ consent (or lack thereof) and teaching children that they should expect their own bodies and their own space to be respected—even by their parents and other relatives.
And if children of two or four can be expected to read the nonverbal cues and expressions of children not yet old enough to talk in order to assess whether there is consent, what excuse do full grown adults have?
I try to do this every day I go to nursery and gosh it makes me so happy to see it done elsewhere.
Yes, consent is nonsexual, too!
Not only that, but one of the reasons many child victims of sexual abuse don’t reach out is that they don’t have the understanding or words for what is happening to them, and why it isn’t okay. Teaching kids about consent helps them build better relationships and gives them the tools to seek help if they or a friend need our protection.
let’s play family feud aka i haven’t laughed this hard in ages
a girl who walks on burning coals,
dragons coiled ‘round her waist
and hot blood beneath her skin.
she dances atop candles, smoke
billowing from her mouth with every
kiss. love a girl who burns.
love a girl with ice in her lungs.
a girl with frozen claws and
eyes so blue they pierce even the
warmest of days. hold her hand
until your teeth chatter and when
her kiss turns your lips blue,
kiss her harder; love the girl
who was born from a glacier.
love a girl built of ash and rosemary.
a girl who leaves flowers in her wake
and ivy writhing just beneath her skin.
her hair is a curtain of leaves
and thorns and her skin tastes
like rainwater and thyme and
when you fuck, the earth shakes.
love a girl who keeps you in the jungle.
love a girl who walks on air.
with windswept hair and silken wings
who sings and flies with birds. when
you see her your stomach swoops and
her kiss is like pure oxygen, heady and
overwhelming. love a girl who rides the winds.
but do not love a girl you build from stone.
bite and chisel from marble and tell her,
“you are everything.” even stone decays.
to build her up is to break her down
because wildness should be warily tamed.
free her from the oven, from your hammer,
and watch her float away.
Look at this!!! LOOK AT THIS! Spread this shit like wildfire! Safe Trek!
so great for anyone who feels territorially unsafe. womp!
sadly it doesn’t seem to have an android version but hopefully if it gets popular enough that will change.
Remember Champ, the happiest dog in the world? His owner, Candice Sedighan, just shared with us a new series of photos she’s taken of the adorable dog and his new found friends. Recently, Candice ran into a man who was holding chicks in a box. “He asked me if I think any factories would want them, but I offered to take them instead so I could find them a safer home. I bought all the necessary supplies to keep them comfortable and healthy for a few days, and will be donating them to a local college’s teaching farm.” See more photos of Champ and his adventures via Instagram.