I promised y'all a bunch of information in relation to this video, so here it is!
The video and this blog post have a LOT of information. The reason I've crammed so much into this lesson is that consent education is most effective when it begins at an early age. Children who learn how to assert themselves and respect boundaries with their friends and family are more likely to grow into teens and adults who can apply those same skills to their romantic and sexual relationships.
If you're teaching these lessons in class, I strongly recommend spreading them out over a few days. If you're talking about these issues at home, please take your time - this is several conversations' worth of content!
Helpful vs. Harmful behaviour
Below are the questions from Lesson #2. In the video, my instructions were to tell the children in your group that there are no right or wrong answers; however, there are answers we hope to hear when doing this exercise. I've included that information, along with some conversation prompts you can use if you get answers that are different from what we expect.
There is one behaviour - "making you play a game you don't want to play" - that is ambiguous, and it's up to you if you'd like to include it in your lesson. If you do, you can facilitate a discussion about the difference between things like a caregiver insisting they go to basketball because they made a commitment to your team, or participating in the family game night, versus being forced play a "game" that seems to only be for the adult to enjoy.
Finally, the prompt involving candy is a chance to talk about how something might feel good for them in the moment, but the adult's behaviour is still harmful.
Feeding you lots of vegetables. Answer we hope to hear: Helpful. What to ask if you hear: Harmful. - How does eating vegetables affect most bodies? - Why do grown-ups give kids vegetables?
Taking you to a doctor for a needle. Answer we hope to hear: Helpful. What to ask if you hear: Harmful. What could happen if a doctor didn’t give us things like needles?
Feeding you lots of candy. Answer we hope to hear: Harmful. What to ask if you hear: Helpful. - How would it feel to eat lots and lots and lots of candy? - What can eating lots of candy do to your: Teeth? Tummy? (In terms of digestion. Don’t bring body size/shape into it.) Energy level?
Giving you a dorky sweater to wear when it is cold: Answer we hope to hear: Helpful What to ask if you hear: Harmful - Why do you think so many grown-ups worry about children being cold?
Sending you to bed at bedtime. Answer you hope to hear: Helpful What to ask if you hear: Harmful - Why do grown-ups usually get to stay up later than kids? - How do you feel when you haven’t had enough sleep?
Hugging, kissing, in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. Answer you hope to hear: Harmful What to ask if you hear: Helpful - Why do people usually want to hug or kiss a friend or relative? - How does a hug or kiss feel when you don’t want it?
Cleaning off a cut or a scrape. Answer you hope to hear: Helpful What to ask if you hear: Harmful - What can happen to a cut if it gets dirty?
Making you play a game you don’t want to play. Answer you hope to hear: It could be either. Ask: Helpful - When could it be helpful for an adult to make a kid play a game? - When could it be harmful for an adult to make a kid play a game?
Asking you to play a secret touching game. Answer you hope to hear: Harmful What to ask if you hear: Helpful - Why don’t grown-ups ask kids to play board games, sports, or other games secretly?
Sending you to school. Answer you hope to hear: Helpful What to ask if you hear: Harmful - What sorts of things do we learn at school? - What do you think your life would be like if you never learned those things?
Asking you to go somewhere with them and refusing to tell you why. Answer you hope to hear: Harmful What to ask if you hear: Helpful - What can happen if we don’t know where we’re going?
Tickling you when you don’t want to be tickled. Answer you hope to hear: Harmful What to ask if you hear: Helpful - Tickling is supposed to be fun. Is it fun to be touched when you don’t want it?
Warning Signs of Abuse
Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in Toronto offers services to minimize children's risks of experiencing abuse; and support for those who have. Their info sheet on children's sexual behaviour here outlines the difference between normal sexual exploration, concerning behaviour, and the red flags that often warrant urgent action. The PDFs are available in the following languages: - English - French - Spanish - Chinese - Punjabi - Tamil - Urdu