The following is guest post by Kell Kelly of All Mum Said.
Talking to Teens about Consent
Today’s teenagers are living in a world that’s far beyond anything we came across at their age.
They’re constantly accosted by technology. Branded images, messages and ideas designed to sell products and lifestyles. Social media influencers shape their ideas of how their bodies should look and what their bodies should do. The alarming rate of pornography use by children as young as eight gives our children very warped ideas of what sex is.
All of this has become white noise swarming around the heads of our children. Those little babies who took those wobbly first steps in our living rooms are now out in the world, trying to negotiate relationships and forge their own identities.
What can we do? How can we protect them? Is there a way to make sure the relationships they inevitably develop are respectful and consensual?
It’s time to have a difficult talk. It’s time for talking to teens about consent.
What do we mean when we talk about consent?
When we are talking to teens about consent, we need to stress that verbal and non-verbal signs. Many teenagers can feel intimidated or pressured into behaving in certain ways. The presence of alcohol or drugs can further blur lines.
It’s often represented in mainstream culture that it’s the responsibility of the female to hold the firm line when it comes to consent. However, as parents we must teach our sons to not only respect the rights of their partner (regardless of gender) to say no, but to be aware of the language they use and the potential physical intimidation they may engage in.
Consent also means looking out for each other. Talking to teens about consent at parties means making sure they look out for others and that there are strategies in place for getting out of uncomfortable situations. Here’s a great idea that will help your teen alert you that they need your help.
Talking to teens about consent
We cannot change the broader culture our children are now a part of. It seems as if misogynistic, hateful language is now the norm and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon. However, we can arm them with strategies and tools that will help them stay safe and treat others respectfully.
Kell can be found over at All Mum Said delivering an honest account of life as a time-poor mum, hilarious parenting fails and everything else that motherhood entails. The mama bear in her looks after her readers by ensuring there is fresh and exciting content and a great range of reviews and giveaways for her fans.