It's natural to think that talking about sexual consent might be a really uncomfortable conversation.
However, it is one of the most important talks to have with your child and shouldn’t be put on the long finger.
And the thing is, this conversation does not need to be uncomfortable or awkward. There are lots of ways to lighten the mood or make the conversation less intense – mainly by using metaphors.
Two of these are the “Tea” metaphor and “Riding a Bike” metaphor and they are extremely effective in getting the point across. See videos and descriptions below:
1. Tea and consent
Think of when someone offers you a cup of tea when you go over to their house.
There are days when you might really want tea and some days when you really don’t want tea. And that’s okay. It’s important that your child knows they can say no to tea and that other people can say no to tea.
It’s also important to know that you can change your mind – someone may have made you a cup of tea and you might not want it any more and that’s totally acceptable too.
2. Cycling and consent
Ask your child to think about going for a cycle with someone. To explore this topic with your child or young person you can ask some of the following questions:
- How would you let some one know you want them to go for a cycle with you?
- How would you know if someone didn’t want to go for a cycle with you? How else would you know if they didn’t want to go for a cycle with you?
- What would you do if they didn’t want to go for a cycle with you?
- What would you do if they came for the cycle and then changed their mind?
It is only through having these kinds of discussions with your child that they will learn and internalise the fact that every person has the right to give or take back their consent at any time.