This excellent article offers parents concrete advice on how to "raise empowered young adults who have empathy for others and a clear understanding of healthy consent." Although it may seem like a complicated concept, especially for younger kids, it’s much more accessible than you might think. In this thoughtful piece, four editors have compiled a list of ways to talk to kids, from age 1 to 21, about consent, appropriate touch, and empathy for others. Their hope is that “parents and educators find this list of action items and teaching tools helpful, and that together we can help create a generation of children who have less rape and sexual assault in their lives.”
For children age 1 to 5, they suggest simple things -- for example, “teach your kids that 'no' and 'stop' are important words and should be honored" and “allow children to talk about their body in any way they want, without shame.” For children age 5 to 12, they recommend “[encouraging] kids to watch each others’ facial expressions during play to be sure everyone’s happy and on the same page" and “[teaching] kids to look for opportunities to help." For teens and young adults, they maintain that "education about 'good touch/bad touch' remains crucial, particularly in middle school" and that it's important to teach them that “their feelings, desires and needs are no one’s responsibility but their own. They still need to practice kindness and respect for everyone around them.”
To read the full article, published on The Good Men Project, with all of the tips for each age group, visit http://bit.ly/1oHk4jz
For more resources for younger girls in preschool and early elementary school, check out the recommendations in our post ""Talking with Younger Girls about their Bodies," at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=2006
For our recommended books to help your tween or teen understand the changes she's experiencing both physically and emotionally during puberty and adolescence, visit our post on “Talking with Tweens and Teens About Their Bodies” at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=2229
For two great parenting books that address teaching children about health and sexuality that offer tips for how to incorporate your family’s values about everything from dating to clothing choices to what constitutes a supportive relationship, check out "From Diapers to Dating" (http://www.amightygirl.com/from-diapers-to-dating) which covers infancy to age 12, and "Beyond the Big Talk" (http://www.amightygirl.com/beyond-the-big-talk), which addresses middle school, high school, and the early college years.
And, for parents of children with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities, this is a helpful resource on this topic: "Teaching Children With Down Syndrome About Their Bodies, Boundaries, And Sexuality" athttp://www.amightygirl.com/teaching-children-with-ds