From headlines in the daily paper, morning radio talk show hosts discussing it on the air, and news outlets sharing breaking news through Snapchat, it’s hard for our kids to avoid words and current events that are associated with sex. It may be tempting to change the radio station, turn off the nightly news, flip the newspaper over, and restrict their social media use to protect their innocence but it’s not realistic. Instead, take charge and talk to tweens and teens about sexual consent.
If this post could serve as a trigger, please stop reading!
Why talk about this now? Besides the landscape of current events, TeachConsent.org believes, “Attitudes and beliefs formed during these critical years will most likely affect how they treat their dating partners now and in the future.”
Our kids are growing up in the age of #MeToo and hearing from women, who have been silenced for too long, as they come forward to share powerful stories about times they didn’t give consent and why they didn’t report it at the time. We might like to think the conversation about consent can wait until our kids are in healthy relationships but deep down we know a violation of one’s consent can happen at any time, anywhere, and at any age.
Sexual consent isn’t an easy topic to talk and it’s even more difficult if your past includes a situation where you did not give consent.
As hard as it is to want to avoid the hard topics, we’ve had some important conversations in our home that originated from current events. I thought it would be helpful to write about how to talk to tweens and teens about sexual consent based on how I’ve approached this subject my 12 year old boy (7th grade) and 14 year old girl (9th grade). I hope these conversation starters and resources provide guidance about how to approach this difficult, but important, topic in your home.
How to Talk to Tweens and Teens About Sexual Consent