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PREVIEW: Book Excerpt – Consent Talk: The 7 Key Components of Consent by Thomas Haller

An unimaginable alteration in the fabric of our society has finally occurred. Sexual harassment, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and misogyny can no longer be allowed to run rampant through society. Voices throughout the country have been shouting the demand for change. We have been thrust into the midst of this change, and parents are faced with an important task of teaching their children about consent.

We all agree that children need to be taught what consent is and what it is not. Teaching our children about consent must be an ongoing process that is repeated at each developmental level. Our children need to learn the concept of consent in kindergarten through second grade, again in third through fifth grades, then again in sixth through eighth grades, again in high school and, yes, again at age eighteen to twenty-one. With repeated learning, they are able to incorporate what consent really means into their adulthood.

Before we, as parents, take on this essential task let’s first get clear about what consent is. Consent is agreement to engage in an activity with another. It’s saying yes to mutual participation in an activity. That activity could be watching a movie, playing a video game, or going for a bike ride. Consent is something that should always be given freely. It is not consent if one is afraid to say no. A person who is forced or threatened to give consent has done so under duress, and that consent is not valid. Furthermore, the person who gave consent to participate in an activity must be able to stop the activity at any point if they so choose. Are you willing to teach this definition of consent to your children? Below are seven key components of consent to assist you in raising responsible, caring children.

Consent requires these components:

Oh, rats!  It’s so frustrating when you get cut off just as you were getting really interested.

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