The discussion around consent, informed consent, bodily autonomy, and relationships has exploded in such a good way.
More and more parents – and therefore more and more children – are learning young that no one should have access to your body without you saying explicitly that it’s okay.
That said, there sometimes seem to be a blurrier line when it comes to very young children. They’re often too young to verbalize whether or not they would actually like a hug or a kiss, and when it comes to family – especially grandparents – they’re just not used to being asked to keep their hands to themselves.
Australian mom Brittany took to TikTok to say that as far as she’s concerned, there definitely should be, and that she’s intent on teaching her daughter that she has a voice (no matter how small).
“My daughter and her body do not exist to make anyone feel more comfortable or to make anyone feel more loved.”
Her video tackles how she is teaching her nearly-two-year-old daughter about consent, and that it extends even to her grandparents needing to ask before attacking her with hugs and kisses.
And if anyone has an issue with that, well, she doesn’t really care.
“No one’s feelings are ever going to be more important than my daughter’s right to her own body. And I’m sure not going to allow her to grow up in an environment where 1. She doesn’t know how to say no and 2. She doesn’t know what it looks like for her no to be respected.”
These seem like issues that might not be relevant until a child is older, but like many important life lessons, it’s easier for them to sink in if they’re baked in from the beginning.
It makes sense to me as a parent, and if you think about it, it probably makes sense to you, too. No one is entitled to your body if you don’t agree, and honestly, a hug and a kiss shouldn’t reassure anyone they’re loved and needed.
Hopefully grandparents know that in other ways!