The Complete Guide to Teaching Kids Consent at Every Age


By Sarah Aswell
Published on Healthline
Oct 2, 2018

Toddlers and early elementary kids

1. Teach the correct vocabulary early
– Correct labels break down stigma and create a person who is sex positive and not embarrassed to talk about their bodies with their parents
– Ditching the slang makes young children much better equipped to report sexual abuse.

2. Teach bodily autonomy and independence
Respect your kids’ wishes when it comes to hugging, kissing, cuddling, and tickling.

3. Talk about consent with friends and family

4. Teach the importance of reporting
As your child gets older, you can explain that certain people may have different levels of access to their body.

Late elementary and middle-school kids

1. Build stronger, healthier boundaries

2. Introduce concepts of sexism and misogyny

3. Teach critical thinking skills

4. Know how to respond when your kids ask about sex

High school kids and young adults

1. Continue with more complex issues surrounding sexual consent

2. Converse about pornography

3. Talk about what a healthy sexual relationship looks like


Comment: This article is a parent guide on how to teach consent. I was interested to see what parents and educators can do for children when school doesn’t teach what they should learn. I think teaching the importance of reporting is especially a great approach since most sexual assaults were not reported and I think knowing there is someone you can talk to can support people making better choices.