Where do you even begin when talking to your kid about consent? It’s a hard conversation to have, but it’s a necessary one. If you don’t know how to approach this topic, a video is always a great way to start and that’s why one mom decided to create a cute video to teach kids about consent.
Titled “Consent for Kids,” illustrator and ex-teacher Rachel Brian’s animated video delves into a complicated topic in a very simple manner. It doesn’t focus on sexuality or”tricky people.” Instead, it teaches kids about personal boundaries, having control over who touches their bodies and that it’s OK to say no—even if that means, say, declining a hug from your aunt.
The concept for the video sprouted from a situation Brian’s seven-year-old daughter, Lola (who also narrates the video), went through at school. A classmate had been bothering her, giving her unwanted attention and even kissing her when the teacher wasn’t looking. Brian asked her daughter if she had told the classmate “no” or if she had told her teacher. Lola responded with an answer that’s all too familiar: “I was too embarrassed. I am so upset, I just want this day to be over.” Sadly, this kind of guilt is deeply rooted in rape culture and often falls on the shoulders of girls and women. Brian recognized this and knew she needed to take action by creating an easily accessible resource for kids and parents.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in four girls experience sexual abuse before they turn 18. That said, it’s not just girls who are affected when it comes to sexual abuse—it’s all genders. While there are existing resources out there that teach consent, like the book version of the popular video “Consent: It’s As Simple As Tea” by Brian and Emmeline May, they’re not always geared specifically towards kids. Having a video like “Consent for Kids” available to all parents is so, so important, especially when they may be seeing people on TV or online saying harmful things about women (we’re looking at you, Donald Trump). A video like this also reminds both parents and kids that this conversation doesn’t have to be overly complicated or scary.
So take the time today to show this video to your kid, because the earlier you can start this conversation with them, the better.