What do ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ look and sound like?
We all communicate in different ways, so it can be useful to think about how people may communicate about consent. Have a look below and see if any of these sound familiar:
|Consent IS:||Consent is NOT:|
|I’m sure||I’m not sure|
|I know||I don’t know|
|I want to||I want to, but…|
|I’m not worried||I feel worried about|
|I want to do this right now||I don’t know how I feel about this|
|I feel good about this||I don’t want to do this anymore|
Non-verbal communication is something that everyone uses whether we know we are doing it or not. Also known as body-language, non-verbal communication can be a great tool for understanding and expressing how we feel.
Have a look below and see if these are familiar:
|Non-verbal consent could be:||Non-verbal consent IS NOT:|
|Initiating an activity||Avoiding an activity or actively withdrawing|
|Pulling someone closer||Pushing someone away|
|Actively touching someone||Avoiding touch|
|Nodding yes||Shaking head no|
|Laughter or smiling||Crying and/or looking sad or fearful|
|“Open” body language: relaxed, loose and open expressions, turning toward someone||“Closed” body language: tense, stiff, or closed expressions, turning away from someone|
|Sounds of enjoyment or enthusiasm, for example laughter or clapping||Silence or fearful/negative sounds, for example screaming or yelling|
|Active participation||Excessive compliance or resignation|
As a parent or carer, you can probably understand your child’s verbal and non-verbal ways of saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’. However, for them to be able to become more independent and make decisions for themselves, it is important to support your child to practice saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in different situations and with different people. This is also an important skill to practice to help keep them safe. For more information on how to support your child to learn consent, go to Consent.