Bea Magazine: What we teach small children about consent

So, here’s a post wot I wrote for Bea, all about issues of everyday consent, being aware of children’s personal space and remembering the role of permission in setting boundaries for children.

It’s already spawned a really interesting conversation with Bea editor Keris and Rachel on Twitter about whether lack of pressure (or rather, lack of pressure as part of a passive aggressive approach / threat of abandonment) is another form of coercion. I definitely agree that it can be, which is why it’s so important to make “you don’t have to” an honest statement, and not include sulking or implied hurt or distance. But there’s definitely a whole other extended conversation to have about less obvious negative signals and being conscious of those.

Discussion of your experiences is very welcome. You don’t have to be a parent – we were all children once!



  1. […] The main message I’m trying to get across to the kid is that her body is her own (as I’ve written about before) and that doesn’t change when she’s asleep. We’ve talked about respecting each other’s […]


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