Consent is basically to teach your kids how to humbly take “NO” for an answer.
In earlier days, kids used to grow up in a huge joint family setup. There were grandparents, uncles and aunts around all the time, who would monitor the kids and ensure their safety. As parents, we did not have to worry about being away from kids for a few hours of the day as we were assured that they are in a safe place.
However, in today’s nuclear family setup, it is the sole responsibility of parents to raise their kids. Working parents especially end up pampering their kids as they feel guilty about not giving their time and attention. If kids feel that they can get everything by just making you feel guilty, they end up becoming very demanding and will never learn to take a NO as an answer. As they grow up, this becomes a habit and kids will not know how to handle failure. So, it is important to teach children about their boundaries and about consent.
Consent is about seeking permission to do something or to learn to respect boundaries. They must be taught to treat others with kindness and respect.
Simple things begin at home. So in the early years it is necessary for parents to set boundaries and ensure kids get an approval before they can watch TV or even eat some junk food etc. Kids learn to oblige by the rules or face consequences.
Similarly, kids learn by watching our actions. So, for example parents too should ask the child’s consent when they want to read a story for them or want to help them get ready etc. These acts make a child understand that their opinion matters, and they have the right to say Yes or NO.
It is also very important to teach children the physical boundaries. Kids can get very curious, and it is necessary to teach them in a simple way to underline the idea of whom to trust and whom to say NO to. Begin by asking them permission when you would want to hug them or even wrestle with them. This will empower kids and in turn they will also learn to respect others’ space.