Dr. Christy Sim, a domestic violence expert, posted this on Facebook:
“Every single time my toddler watches Frozen & we get to the scene where Kristoff wants to kiss Anna, I say the same thing. “Lilly look! He asked for consent! That’s so awesome!” And we cheer. Every. Time.
I thought it was a concrete way to cultivate in our children a sense of control over their own bodies as well as combat rape culture. I asked Dr. Christy if she would be willing to share more examples, to which she generously supplied the following. We hope it is a useful resource for parents, and help us pay attention to other teaching moments in pop culture and in your family lives.
Image from Disney Wiki: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/File:Krissanna.jpg
Teaching Moment #1: Hugging a sibling that doesn’t want to be hugged.
“That’s their body. And we don’t touch it if they don’t want to be hugged.”
Teaching Moment #2: Someone at church or a family member wants a hug/kiss from your child.
“You have the power to control what you do with your body. It’s up to you. I won’t be disappointed or upset if you choose not to do it.”
Teaching Moment #3: Taylor Swift’s song, Blank Space: “Boys only want love if it’s torture. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.”
“That’s a sad thought. Why would anyone equate love with torture? Love needs to be a safe place–with no fear of being tortured.”
Teaching Moment #4: Beauty and the Beast: “There’s something sweet, and almost kind. But he was mean and he was coarse and unrefined. And now he’s dear, and so unsure, I wonder why I didn’t see it there before.”
“If someone is mean and coarse–rough and harsh…maybe they aren’t someone we want to spend time with. It’s up to you to make those kinds of decisions about who you want to spend time with. It’s not romantic to be mean.”
Teaching Moment #5: iCarley portraying a girl liking a guy by beating him up (Sam and Freddie).
“Hurting someone is never romantic. We don’t want to touch anyone in a good touch or bad touch, if they don’t want to be touched.”
Teaching Moment #6: In Twilight where Edward sits in Bella’s window and watches her while she sleeps.
“Bella didn’t know he was watching her. She didn’t give him consent to do that. It’s important to ask for consent.”
What are some other examples of ways we can teach children consent? We’d love for you to add ideas and suggestions in the comment section.
Dr. Christy Sim has a doctorate in Global Health and Wholeness with her main area of emphasis and research centering around healing after domestic violence. She currently works at the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence and sits on the Institutional Review Board for Claremont School of Theology, where she assesses care for vulnerable populations being researched by PhD and Masters students.