Consent ABCs: Modeling Consent for Young Children in an Age Appropriate Way
Join Us for Consent ABCs, A National Consent Awareness Week Webinar
As part of the Consent Awareness National Week, Project Respect, Victoria Sexual Assault Centre’s prevention education program, is excited to be hosting an online event for parents and caregivers of young children on how consent can be taught and modeled in an age appropriate way. Register here to the Webinar Thursday September 22, 2022 at 12:00 – 1:30 pm PDT (3:00 – 4:30 EDT)
Consent starts early
Teaching and modeling consent starts early. If you are parenting or teaching young children, you are familiar with the type of dilemma one encounters balancing the wish to empower children’s autonomy and capacity for choice, with the need to keep them safe. We know that asserting control and power over children is not the solution. On the contrary, it actually contributes to embedding skewed power dynamics and perpetuates a culture of domination over children. Domination and authoritarian models of parenting are inherently linked to gender-based violence, as renowned feminist social scientist Riane Eisler has showed in her studies into cultures of partnership, respect and equality for “tomorrow’s children”.
The first step towards a caring society
If we want to create a caring society rooted in consent culture, aspiring to a partnership paradigm, we cannot solely rely on school educators and professionals. Parents of young children can be key allies in the prevention of gender-based violence and power imbalances when they adopt a consent-based parenting style. Modeling consent skills teaches children how to care for themselves and others, and who to turn to for help, which is the foundation of a caring society. For example, focusing on the importance of safety helps us explain why decision-making for children often has limits, although we can still involve them in those choices!
A New Resource and a Consent Awareness Week Webinar
Our Program Educator Allison Macrae researched and compiled best practices in consent modeling for young learners to finally create a new resource for parents and educators, which is available on our Projectrespect.ca website: Consent’s ABC’s. It is divided in sections each outlining a different element of consent and boundaries for children – safety, choices, responsibility and sharing.
In the webinar we will touch upon the basics of consent culture with young children in mind. Consent starts early, and it is not exclusive to sexual relationships. What role can parents and caregivers of young children play in gender-based violence prevention? How to embody and model consent culture in your daily interactions with children? How to implement consent-based parenting while balancing the need for safety and choices? These are some of the topics we will expand on.
The first part of the webinar will be a presentation, the second part will allow you to ask questions and discuss what comes to your mind when trying to balance parenting responsibilities with a consent-based approach.
Click Here To Register For The Consent ABCs Webinar
What: Consent ABCs: a Consent Awareness National Week Webinar by Project Respect (VSAC).
When: Thursday September 22, 12:00 – 1:30 pm PDT (3:00 – 4:30 pm EDT)Click here to sign up!
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More on the Partnership model researched by Riane Eisler
After analyzing the roots of our patriarchal gender norms over millenia Riane Eisler, famed author of Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and the Politics of the Body, embarked on a mission to transform the paradigm of education towards a partnership model. She explains:
”In domination-oriented social systems, starting early on, children are taught to accept top-down rankings of domination — man over man, man over woman, race over race, religion over religion, and humans over nature — as inevitable, even moral. This socialization is based on rigid gender stereotypes in which the female half of humanity, and everything considered soft or feminine, such as caregiving and nonviolence, is devalued. At the same time, children are taught that members of the male half of humanity must under no circumstances be like girls or women, lest they too be devalued as effeminate sissies.”Eisler, Riane (2015) “Nurturing Children’s Humanity: Partnership Education,” Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies: Vol. 2: Iss. 2, Article 5. Available at: http://pubs.lib.umn.edu/ijps/vol2/iss2/5