Early talks about consent and sexual consent can lay the groundwork for safe and healthy relationships. New resources from raisingchildren.net.au give parents and carers age-based tips on how to have these conversations.
Consent is agreeing to something or giving permission for something. Sexual consent is agreeing to take part in sexual activity. When children know about getting and giving consent, they’re more likely to have healthy, respectful, safe and enjoyable sexual experiences when they’re ready for them.
New resources from raisingchildren.net.au give parents and carers information and practical tips about how to talk to their children about consent and sexual consent.
Early talks about consent when children are young can lay the groundwork for open and direct conversations about sexual consent when children are older. For younger children, parents can introduce ideas about consent long before they relate it to sex.
For example, parents can:
- respect children’s choices about touch and privacy
- teach children about respecting other people’s choices and boundaries
- draw children’s attention to nonverbal cues that indicate consent
- ask for consent for things like sharing images.
As children move towards the teenage years, parents can start talking more openly and directly about sexual consent. For example, parents can:
- explain that clear, respectful and constant communication is key to sexual consent
- encourage teenagers to think about how their behaviours during sex can make other people feel
- talk about how to give and seek consent
- let teenagers know that it’s OK to say no and that pressure to have sex isn’t always violent or forceful – it can be verbal or emotional.
A great way parents can spark these conversations is using everyday moments or examples from TV shows, movies, books and the media. You can view the new resource here: