This mom made a fantastic kid-friendly video to teach consent to young children
Teaching children about consent is one of the trickiest things for parents to tackle, as such a large portion of our daily lives is bombarded with images of rape culture. And one mom knew that she had to make a difference.
For Rachel Brian and her 7-year-old daughter, Lola, the issue of consent hit home when Lola was unhappy after a classmate kept teasing her and giving her unwanted attention -- even going so far as to kiss Lola once the teacher's back was turned.
When Rachel asked her daughter if she had said “no,” or told the teacher what had transpired, Lola’s response was short and heartbreaking. Rachel told Today that Lola’s answer was simply:
"I was too embarrassed. I am so upset, I just want this day to be over."
Lola suggested that her classmate needed to read the book version of”Consent: It’s As Simple As Tea” — originally started as an educational video by Brian and Emmeline May, going on to by viewed 75 million times and translated into 25 languages. The popular video has become a teaching tool for schools, universities, and official departments such as the police to educate about the importance of consent.
Rachel, who is an illustrator and former teacher, explained to Lola that the book wasn't exactly meant for kids -- but that sparked the idea to create their own kid-friendly video about consent together.
The two minute video, called “Consent For Kids,” is narrated by Lola. It doesn’t focus on sexuality, but on personal boundaries and control over who touches them — teaching kids, for example, how to tell their aunt they don’t want a hug.
Too often, the burden of combating rape culture and misogyny in our culture falls solely on the shoulders of women and girls to defend themselves -- but they deserve so much more.
Research indicates that one in four girls are being sexually abused before they turn 18 — and it’s clear that our issues with rape culture go far beyond college campuses. If we make it easier to start the conversation about consent, it can help to eradicate sexual violence against women and girls.
This video reminds us that teaching children about consent and sexual education doesn't have to be scary -- for parents or children.
There are friendlier alternatives that can help begin the conversation earlier and make a real impact against the sexism and violence in our culture.