When it comes to parenting, everyone has their own methods and styles – some people prefer to act like a ‘bad cop’ and be strict, while others want to be their child’s best friend.
But no matter your approach, most parents can agree that it’s best to raise kids to be able to make good choices for themselves.
This is why one mum is teaching her daughter all about consent – and she’s started the lesson early, as her daughter isn’t even two-years-old yet.
Brittany Baxter, an Australian parent, has gone viral on TikTok after sharing a video explaining why she believes no one has the right to just hug and kiss her daughter as they please – they need to ask the child’s permission first.
“Can we please start normalising the fact that kids do not have to kiss in front of adults? My daughter’s almost two years old and I’ve been in the process of teaching her consent basically since the day that she’s been born, and I find it really f**king unhelpful when the adults in her life are like ‘What?! We have to ask for a kiss and a hug?’, even though I’ve explained why multiple times.
“And then when she says no, they’re like ‘Oh she doesn’t love me my feelings are so hurt’ and then they proceed to overstep her body boundaries anyway.
“My daughter and her body do not exist to make anyone feel more comfortable and to make anyone feel more loved, it is not her fault and it’s not my fault that the older generation haven’t taken the time throughout their entire lives to learn how to regulate their emotions so consent doesn’t continue to be overlooked.
“No one’s feelings are ever going to be more important than my daughter’s right to her own body and I’m sure as s**t 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.
“Grandparents do better.”
In a follow-up video Brittany went on to explain how she deals with grandparents who consistently overstep these body boundaries.
She added: “You do not have to sacrifice your boundaries or the boundaries that you hold for your children in order to ease the discomfort of others, their discomfort is theirs to navigate and theirs to navigate alone.
“What you can do though to defuse a confrontation is try and meet them where they’re at, so if you feel like it you can say ‘Hey I can see that it’s really hard for you to ask so and so for a kiss and a hug, and I can see that it’s really hard for you or that you don’t feel loved when so and so says no’, but what you do have to do is still stand firm in your boundary say something like, ‘but we as a family practice consent, and we would really appreciate it if you get on board’.
“Confrontation will only become easy to deal with when you practice standing firm.”
More than 300,000 people have watched the mum’s original clip, with over 36,000 people liking it.
Thousands also took the time to comment and share their thoughts – some admitted they were also working on consent with their families, while others didn’t agree with it.
One person wrote: “I encourage my 21-month-old to bond (emotional and physical warmth) with my parents…. and she is so connected to them. I really don’t get your anger.”
Another replied: “Working on this with my two-year-old as well. We’ve had to reduce his interactions with my mother due to her not respecting this and I feel no guilt.”
A third added: “I myself even ask permission from my daughter for a kiss… If she don’t want one that’s her choice! I don’t feel any less loved when she says no.”
Someone else posted: “Thank you for this! My mother-in-law tries to withhold gifts and food for affection from my three-year-old and gets her feelings hurt when he says no to a hug or kiss.”
Do you practice consent with your children? Let us know in the comments below.