Teach children to ask permission before touching or embracing a playmate.Use langauge such as, “Sarah, let’s ask Joe if he would like to hug bye-bye.” If Joe says “no” to this request, cheerfully tell your child, “That’s okay, Sarah! Help create empathy within your child by explaining how something they have done may have hurt someone.
The ongoing horror of rape in the news, from Penn State to the young women raped and killed in India to Steubenville, has proven to be a wake-up call for many parents.
We always knew that rape was a problem, but never before have we been so mobilized to create change.
As writers, educators, and advocates of sex-positivity and healthy consent, the four of us have been inundated with requests from parents for advice on how to help create a future with less rape and sexual assault.
We believe parents can start educating children about consent and empowerment as early as 1 year old and continuing into the college years.
It is our sincere hope that this education can help us raise empowered young adults who have empathy for others and a clear understanding of healthy consent.
We hope parents and educators find this list of action items and teaching tools helpful, and that together we can help create a generation of children who have less rape and sexual assault in their lives.
There are three sections, based upon children’s ages, preschool, grade school, and teens and young adults.
Sincerely, Julie Gillis, Jamie Utt, Alyssa Royse and Joanna Schroeder ♦◊♦ – 1.
This can be done with a loving tone and a big hug, so the child doesn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. Ask your child to watch interactions and notice what is happening.
Get them used to observing behavior and checking in on what they see.
Use the family pet as an example, “Oh, it looks like the kitty’s tail is stuck! ” Praise your child for assisting others who need help, but remind them that if a grown-up needs help with anything, that it is a grown-up’s job to help.