As your child develops during puberty, personal care tasks will start to include more attention to, and contact with, private body parts. Including consent in personal care helps to teach your child that their body is their own and they have the power to make decisions about it.
If your child has limited capacity to do their personal care tasks, they may continue to require support from family or paid support workers as they grow. This is OK. If this is the case, it is even more important to practice consent throughout personal care so that your child can maintain ownership and control of their body. Practising consent during personal care helps set the expectation for your child that they are an active participant in the support they receive and that people still need to ask permission before touching their private body parts.
Watch Ee-Lin and Grace talk about private body parts below:
If your child has difficulty giving consent, it is important that they have plenty of opportunities to practise with you and other safe people in their life. It is also helpful to teach consent clearly and repeatedly in as many daily situations as possible. Consistency from you and the other important people in your child’s life will help to support your child’s learning.