As your child ages and their social network broadens, the things they need to ask and give consent to may become more complex. It may eventually include consent to sexual activity.
In all instances, the principle of consent is the same: both people have to agree.
In practice, however, knowing if someone gives their consent can sometimes be difficult. This is because it’s not always easy to let people know that you are not happy about something. Sometimes the person you’re with might look like they’re happy doing something, but on the inside they’re not. They might not know what to say, or how to tell you that they are uncomfortable. This can be particularly challenging in your child’s relationships with their peers, especially if their peers are also learning how to ask for and give consent.
Consent is an important part of every healthy relationship. Supporting your child to ask for and give consent in peer relationships and ensuring they know what to do if they are uncomfortable will help your child to become more independent. It will also help to keep them safe.