India has patriarchy deep rooted within it culture and by far the main reason behind inequality to women and gender based violence. Apparently, consent culture has rarely prevailed in India and it’s high time that we bring it into practice. Well, no doubt, this needs to begin at home and we as parents need to inculcate it amongst our children, boys or girls. We need to understand is by creating a consent culture we are making a huge contribution towards not only making our children smart enough to understand the difference between the good and the bad but also making the world a safer and better place for one and all. When only we as a society start giving importance to the consent culture is when our boys and girls will start respecting each other.
We live in a society in India where consent is only a context of physical intimacy. Rather, the concept of consent is relevant and necessary in every little things that we encounter in our day to day lives, right from shaking hands, to hugging to even posting pictures of your own children on Facebook or even forcing them to eat the food they do not want to. Consents needs to be sedate, honest, willful, unforceful, continuous and enthusiastic.
MODELLING THE CONSENT CONCEPT
Consent culture is about valuing the feelings of other people while interacting with them, be it casually or professionally and as mentioned earlier it begins at home, that to in the early years. It also means that your child’s consent is equally important and needs to be taken into consideration like every other adults. For example forcing children to eat stuff they don’t wish to or to take them to places they don’t want to go also comes under the consent model. Your child’s inputs do matter as much as any other member as your child is also a member of the family and deserving the same attention, respect and its time that we start enforcing it even in the smallest of the decisions.
TALK ABOUT GOOD TOUCH, BAD TOUCH AND MORE
In India, sex talk has been a taboo since the very beginning of time, may be. Yes, times are changing and for good and umpteen parents are trying to break the ice around it when it comes to talking to their teen children. Due to the increasing number of cases of sexual violence around pre-schoolers, taking steps in making the preschoolers understand the difference between good and bad touches and more is extremely important. Primarily, they need know that they have a right to say yes or no, if and when someone unknown/ known touches them inappropriately or asks them to do something. For example, if a relative of yours asks your child to sit on his/her lap, your child has the right to politely decline it, if he/she aren’t willing to do so. Also kids need to be taught that others need to ask for their consent when touching them, hugging them, kissing them, borrowing something from them or asking them to do something. They also need to be taught what an in appropriate touch means and how to deal with something like that. We need to teach them to say no to what is inappropriate straight away. They also need to be taught to take steps to report about the same to their family member or school authority. The most important part that we all need to learn and teach is that when someone says no to something, it means a no clearly, even if he or she is smiling when saying it.
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