Teaching kids respect for their own and others’ bodies helps them become empowered and less likely to become victimized. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

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.”

Learn more by watching this brief video. Afterwards, review the strategies outlined below to teach your child about asking for consent and setting boundaries.

  • You can practice asking for permission with kids on a daily basis. This teaches them healthy communication and that they get to make choices about their bodies.
  • Parents, caregivers, and teachers need to set up the conversation. Here are a few ways to practice with kids.

Asking For Consent

 
 
  • Ask for consent in everyday interactions with your child.

    For Example

    “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?"

    “It's OK if you don't want a goodnight hug."

  • Model that asking for consent is an ongoing process.

    For Example

    “Do you need a break from tickling, or are tickles still okay with you?”

  • Teach your child to ask for consent with other children.

    For Example

    “Do you want to play with the red or the blue car?” OR "Do you want to hold hands when we walk to lunch?"

Besides consent, kids need to learn that they can set boundaries and limits on when and how their bodies are touched and by whom. Some tips regarding boundaries follow.

Setting Boundaries

Boundaries are a person’s right to choose what is comfortable for them.

Teach Your Child

  • Your body belongs to you
  • You get to decide about your own body
  • No one should touch you without permission
  • Consent means always choosing to respect others’ boundaries
 
 
 
 

Learn Together

Use this activity with kids to start the conversation about consent and boundaries.

Get Started
 
 

Talk to your kids

Download this guide with clear examples of what to say to kids in real-life scenarios.

Download Guide