1. Teach Your Children To Say NO
Teaching children to say no might seem like an insignificant gesture, but the impact goes a long way especially in African cultures where children are not encouraged to be assertive or disagree with an adult as its seen as disrespectful.
This kind of parenting condition children to accept anything an adults says or does as superior and correct, passing the message that their own opinions and decisions do not matter when talking to adults.
2. Respect Your Children’s No
Nothing is more confusing to a child than when you teach them to say no but don’t respect their decisions when they do; thus they learn to accept that their NO is only valid when speaking to people younger than them.
3. Teach Your Children To ALWAYS ask for permission
We need to teach children to always ask for permission before taking or touching what doesn’t belong to them, no matter how close they are to the person EVEN FAMILY.
We all know how annoying and invasive it feels when people go through our stuff or take something without asking; this feeling doesn’t automatically disappear because the person is family- we simply learn to normalize such behavior and diminish the feelings associated with it.
4. Get A Strong Positive Male Figure For Boy Children
In our society, it can be very easy for young boys to think and view others as objects meant to fulfill their own needs. When boys have men they trust and admire be vulnerable with them, it opens up a chance for them to see the world with compassion, allowing them to become more sensitive and respectful of others.
5. Teach Children Not To Move People Out Of the Way With Their Hands
This is one that can only be taught when the ADULT themselves adhere to the rule; the child can only learn this by watching their guardian respect other people’s bodies and personal space.
I notice that rarely do we do this with people who are older than us; it is easier for us to move our peers or someone younger out of the way. So if we have the patience to wait and allow the person older to move on their own, we can do the same with people younger or our peers.
6. Teach Children Not To Give Out People’s Personal Information Without Permission
They need to be taught to always ask before giving out the information of someone else no matter how close they are to the person. It shows respect for the person’s privacy!
7. Make every moment a teachable moment
Take advantage of every moment to pass knowledge because things said casually sticks!
Think about those negative remarks you heard from trusted ones as a child that made you feel bad- even though they never called you directly to tell you – you heard and you felt the impact! So imagine if those remarks were healthy and positive comments.
There are many instances that consent can be taught in non-sexual spaces; these are simply a few ways to let children understand the importance of seeking permission and respecting people’s decisions.
So before addressing sexual consent, we must discuss how to respect people’s decisions even in non-sexual spaces, because if one cannot give or seek consent in non-sexual spaces, there’s very little chance that they will be able to in a sexual space where the risks are higher.