Introducing Your Child to the Idea of Consent


Talking to your children about consent doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or overwhelming. Kids who understand the importance of consent:

  • Feel empowered to confidently make decisions about their bodies
  • Feel comfortable talking to trusted adults about these topics
  • Know the importance of setting and respecting boundaries


Asking for consent

What is Consent?

Consent means giving someone a choice about touch or actions and respecting their answer. With children, we often use the language, “asking for permission”. At this age, we want to lay the foundation for setting boundaries, making decisions about their bodies, asking for permission, and responding appropriately when someone says no to them. Besides consent, kids need to learn that they can set boundaries and limits on when and how their bodies are touched and by whom. Conversations around consent should be ongoing.

Here’s how you can incorporate consent into everyday conversations with your child. 

Ways to ask your child for consent:

  • “Do you want a hug goodbye today? We could also wave or high five.”
  • “Can I sit beside you while we read this book?”
  • “Can I tell your teacher that your grandma died?”

Ways to model consent:

  • “Do you need a break from tickling, or are tickles still okay with you?”
  • “It’s OK if you don’t want a goodnight hug.”
  • “Can I help you put your jacket on?”

Ways to teach your child to ask for consent with other children:

  • “Do you want to play with the red or the blue car?”
  • “Do you want to hold hands when we walk to lunch?”
  • “Can I sit next to you on the bus? 

Teach Your Child:

  • Your body belongs to you
  • You get to decide what happens to your body
  • No one should touch you without permission
  • Telling someone not to touch you is NOT rude
  • Consent means always choosing to respect others’ boundaries
  • Respecting someone’s boundaries shows that you care about them

Teaching consent is an important part of educating your child about sexual health. It’s a fundamental concept that can be taught at any age. It lets your child know that their voice matters and they have choices. They’ll also learn to respect the choices of others as they understand the concept of consent.

Sources: and


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