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What We’re Still Not Teaching Kids About Consent

If I’m remembering correctly, sex ed in the ‘8 0s consisted of the following lessons 😛 TAGEND

— First grade: Tell someone if a grownup( who isn’t a medical doctor) touches your private parts

— Fifth grade: You’re going to bleed from your private parts the working day, catch these free diaper-sized maxi pads as we lob them at your head

— Tenth grade: You know what sex is, right? Don’t do that unless you like stimulating newborns. And if you’re going to have sex, wear a condom because of AIDS. Good luck!

If you’re wondering where the big lessons on permission were, so am I. If I’m being generous, I can conjure up a fuzzy remembrance of a tenth-grade coach/ educator in belted short shorts telling the sons in the chamber, “Guys , no means no. I signify it.” And that would have been the final word on the subject, since we all thought we were using the same speech when it came to consent. Yes was yes , no was no, where’s the embarrassment?

The confusion, as we’ve mentioned above, is in how pop culture tells men that no genuinely means “maybe, try again, “ and tells wives that if you didn’t say no hard enough, you probably didn’t signify it in the first place. Perhaps work on your communication skills, body language, and booze schedule for next time, girly. The embarrassment be coming back real-world situations in which body parts are already slippery and engorged and you crave this but not that , and you aren’t sure how to say you want this but not that. The embarrassment comes when no one teaches that “maybe, ” “not yet, ” “let’s merely kiss” and *< i> gentle pushing to create distance * should be treated as “no, ” full stop.

Consent is sticky and confusing not only because sex itself is also possible sticky and confusing, but likewise because we haven’t made future sexual beings its own language, tools, or authority to communicate what the hell is want out of sex. And yes, when I say “future sexual beings, ” I mean kids. This is a column about kids and sex.

I’m sorry.

No, I’m not.

Parents, it’s on us to do better by our children. Because lessons about consent start on Day One.

4

Teach Your Children That They Don’t Owe Anyone Hugs And Kisses

Day One of Parenthood: So you’ve got a floppy-headed child who can’t ascertain straight, can’t do anything but sleep, call, turd, and fasten( if you’re luck ), and is basically a whisker scrunchie in human form. Day One isn’t the best day to start teaching permission, I guess. Whatever, let’s fast-forward.

Skip ahead to Day 730 ish. Now you’ve got a toddler, and this toddler is so effing cute that you’re holding renaming them “Pixar.” We’re talking about chipmunk cheeks, 20 perfect square teeth that aren’t crowded or rotted in any way, a big fat Buddha belly accentuated by a onesie that this child has no disgrace in wearing, turkey drum extremities, and a Frankenstein gait that only builds them more squeezable. I only LOVE TODDLERS SO MUCH. Mothers, I want to hug your squishy toddlers.

Also, I’m your problem.

Your job as a parent is to teach young children that that they own their adorable squishy torsoes, and that grandmas, aunts, uncles, fun cute adult friends who seem to pose zero impairment( like me !) aren’t deserving of their hugs just because they’re big and nice and want the hugs.

Let’s threw it this lane: When you’re a toddler, every other human is a Mountain. Not necessarily the Mountain who committed birth to the Mountain who devoted birth to you, just a huge mass of someone who isn’t your mommy or your dad. For some children, such a distinction is wiped away speedily, and hugs and kisses are as naturally forthcoming as the turd that defies gravity to land mid-back while their parents are trying to enjoy a night at Olive Garden. That’s why you, the mother, have to start giving your child options about hugs and kiss as soon as they’re big enough to understand “yes” and “no.”

Here’s a dramatic reenactment of a conversation that’s happening somewhere in the world at this very second 😛 TAGEND

Mom : Give Grandma a hug.

Child : *< i> Frozen, suspicious and belligerent *

Grandma : Awww, can I have a hug? I winged across the country to see you! *< i> Holds flabby arms out *

Mom : Give Grandma a hug or you can go to your chamber until you’re ready to be nice.

Grandma : No, it’s OK. *< i> Mimes wiping away fake tears for dramatic effect *

Child : *< i> Gives robot hug *

When I was a little kid, the results of frustrating an adult by not committing them physical affection could have ended with a guilt trip, an earlier bedtime, or worst-case scenario, a spanking. When my mothers were kids, I’m guessing they were sent to the coal ours if they let down their older relatives in the hug department.

The point is that we’ve trained children expressed the belief that when it comes to something innocent like hugs or tickling( when the whole degree is how much the kid doesn’t crave it ), an adult’s seems are more important than a child’s personal space . If you crave your kid to say “no” with authority and confidence in the backseat of a driverless vehicle ten years from now, they have to get practise saying no in general. More importantly, they have to know that hurting Grandma or Miss Kristi’s( that’s what kids call me sometimes) thoughts is much less important than listening to their own gut.

By the style, I’m not advocating for adults to glue their limbs to their sides and prow in deep respect every time they encounter a toddler. If I get to meet your toddler, I’m going to do what I always do: Sit on the flooring and play with them and ask for a hug at the end of the visit. And if they say no or hesitate, I’ll back off and maybe ask for a high five instead. I’ll be fine. Your chore as a mother is to give your kids lots of practice at turning people like me down so that they’re really good at saying no when the stakes are style higher.

Grandmas, granddad, aunts, uncles, cherished friends of children, the same message goes to you. Do not make a child feel guilty for not wanting to give you a hug, even if you gave them a really cool present.

3

Teach Your Kids That No One Can Make Them( Not Even You )

Oh, we’re going there.

When my children were little, we had a Biblical( ish) approach to parenting, and discipline included spanks. Back then, my husband and I agreed that spanks( or pops on the bottom, as we called them) were a good tool for teaching a lesson when a child did something that could get them injure. Running out into the street, for example, would get a pop on the bottom.( And we were usually says something about a weak slap on a diapered pillage .) The logic was that the fear of get a spanking combined with the ache of the spanking would create a remembrance that would induce them never ever want to run into the street again.

Unfortunately, once you’ve allowed yourself to hit person as a sort of discipline or instruction, you don’t ever follow your own regulations, because you’re likewise human. Did we likewise give reactionary “spankings” in anger? Yes, once or twice because we’d opened the door to spankings and didn’t oversee ourselves as well as we should have. Did we dedicate “spankings” on non-diapered bottoms to kids who weren’t running out into the street but were mouthing off? Sadly, yes.

I regret letting spanking in my home because A) spankings permitted my kids to see the very worst version of me, and B) research is disclosing that spanking is tied to aggressive behavior, lower self-esteem, and increased mental health problems. I know the Bible says that kids who don’t get spanked grow up to be spoiled, but if your best tool for raising nice children is to reach them when they’re bad, you maybe shouldn’t be elevating children? And maybe stay away from bird-dogs too while we’re at it.

Actually, let’s drop-off the word “spank” altogether for a minute, because it’s a euphemism for hitting, and we should be honest with ourselves when we reached another person, specially small children. As small children, you’re told that making other children is bad and that kids who reach are bullies. But if you’ve been bad, your parents, grandparents, and sometimes your principal can reach you, and that’s OK because they’re big and old and in charge. The most basic, fundamental standard of human modesty we’ve “re coming” with throughout human history — do unto others as you’d have done to you — doesn’t apply to children .

So how do childhood spankings tie into consent in sex situations? A child who received spankings goes into adolescence and adulthood with the recollection of being physically penalized for being disobedient. They know what it’s was ready to get hurt for frustrating person they desire and confidence. They know that it’s possible for people they care about to suffer them if they do something wrong. Ultimately, they were raised to believe that no one should suffer them unless it’s someone they love.

How does that lesson not make its style into the bedroom?

If we want our kids to walk into their first sexual experiences with the confidence to say no if they want to say no, we should start by practicing what we preach in the decades before the moment happens. “No one is allowed to hit you , not even me. You are in charge of your body, all the time, even when you’ve done something wrong. There is nothing you can do that they are able to make me hurt your torso, because that’s now how we are dealing with each other.”

If you take spanks off the table, your child never get taught that authority figures are allowed to injure them if the conditions are right. Or that big people are authorized to apply their own internal logic of when it’s OK to make and when it’s not OK to hurt their bodies.

Speaking of authority figures …

2

Teach Your Kids That Authority Figure And Heroes Can Be Bad

As of this writing, Larry Nassar, the doctor who used his position to sexually assault at the least 120 young gymnasts, has been sentenced to 40 -7 5 years in prison for his misdemeanours. He won’t have the opportunity to serve those years until he finishes his 60 -year sentence for “their childrens” porn accuses that came before. I know. I hate him too.

It’s important to note here that the matter is Nassar monster doesn’t fit neatly in an article about consent, but I’m dragging his sorry name in here anyway because we’re talking about parenting, and every parent should know what this humankind did. Consent is something that happens between two adults who are trying to hash out how far they want to go together. Consent is not a thing when small children is involved, ever. I bring Nassar up because during the course of its trial, his victims weren’t only pointing their thumbs at him; they shed light on the dozens of moments when the system that was supposed to protect them safeguarded him instead. We’re says something about a humankind who sexually mistreated little girls while their parents were in the chamber .

And these weren’t regular parents like you and me. These were the kind of mothers who would change undertakings, move across the country, and invest thousands of dollars into making their children’s athletic dreams come true. They reworked their entire lives around their children. They were like, super mothers. But they couldn’t tell when a medical doctor was molesting their babies. Why? Because the very first rule they learned in their sex education, and the first regulation they taught their own kids, was that physicians are allowed to touch private parts.

I bring up Nassar because I can imagine the thought processes of both the victims and the mothers in the room when he was committing his crimes. At the heart of their misgivings about his actions was self-doubt, feeling that they were wrong for feeling uncomfortable. This humankind is a doctor. Self-doubt is also at the core of every adult encounter in which one person isn’t sure of how far they want to go but they don’t know how to express themselves. For instance, when a woman is on a date with a guy she’s liked for a very long time and second-guesses herself when he wants to move too fast because he’s well-liked and kind.

Self-doubt doesn’t emerge amply formed in someone’s head out of nowhere. It comes from the tales you tell yourself about yourself, and how much you trust your own thoughts. Nassar lasted as a predator for multiple decades because most of us are freaking little kids when it comes to submitting to authority, and Nassar was a doctor, so he was an authority. He lasted because we will do mental gymnastics to avoid confrontation with people who hurt us, and we’d rather suffer than trust our own instincts.

So give your kids some chamber to doubt authority figures every now and then. Let them explore the notion that grownups can be bad, because yeah, some of them are ogres. Let your kids practice saying “no, ” like, all the time. You guess I’m kidding, but it’s shockingly hard to say “no” as an adult, especially to someone you like.

1

Teach Your Kids To Read And Respect The People Around Them

I can’t speak for every other woman out there, but the Aziz Ansari date night story made me harder than the James Franco tales or accounts of Louis C.K. masturbating in front of female comedians, even though their actions were objectively more disgusting in every style. The Ansari account was pain because his date tied herself into knots as she tried to come up with ways to say “no” without injuring his feelings, but every clue she dropped was met with “yes, but, ” as if their whole date was an improv game. A lady left his apartment in tears, and he thought they had a great night 24 hours later.

Unfortunately, the tale was the best illustration of a consent problem that I’ve ever seen. One person struggled to say no, and the other person didn’t read, consider, or hear her battle at all, or read it and didn’t care. While every other entry on the listing is a route to help your kid not become a victim, this one is to help your kid not become a person who tries to have sex with someone who’s not into it. That’s a matter of empathy, and it can be taught.

This starts with modeling empathy over and over and over again. Read your kids’ faces and bodies, and be demonstrating that they can read their friends’ faces as bodies as well. Literally say “Your face appears sad. Are you OK? ” Or “Why did your friend run hide under the slide and start exclaiming when you were playing? What happened? ” Or “I can tell you’re mad at me because I eat all of the Goldfish while you were at school. We can talk about it when you’re ready.”

If the idea of accepting a child’s facial expressions and body language out loud over and over again is wearying, that’s because it is. And that’s not including the times you’re calling them out for the incorrect reasons. “Wipe that face off your face” is a favorite face in my home, because everyone loathes grumpy faces. But I can’t think of another way to teach kids how to check in with the emotional states of the people around them than to simply … do that. Like, all the time.

Despite what pop culture has taught us, we want sons( and girls) who want to read faces and body language and wishes to land on the same place as their partners. We want future adults to pride themselves on how attuned they are to the person in front of them, especially when we’re talking about sex. We want guys( and girls) who ask “Is this OK? ” before they get handsy because that’s how much they respect the person they’re with, even if they just met.

Parents, don’t “ve been waiting for” pop culture to catch up on teaching permission. It’s not going to happen any time soon. By the time the next generation of screenwriters figures out how to write sexy scenes that handle permission really well, your children are already going to be grown.

Feel free to check in on Kristi’s emotional state when you are want over on Twitter .

If you have children yourself and require some help with this, authors are writing children’s books geared towards teaching them these very things. Check them out !

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Read more: http :// www.cracked.com/ blog/ what-were-still-not-teaching-kids-about-consent /

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