Consent for ‘between’ is going to be evolving and adapting as they grow older. It will take on different roles from you being their confidante to them not wanting you to know their thoughts and innermost feelings ⚖️
Teaching consent at the between age is key to developing strong, open and honest relationships. Here are some things to help you and your between…
♥ Discuss the boundaries of the word ‘Secret’ – The word ‘secret’ is heavily loaded. If accidentally shared, it can harbour feelings of guilt and shame for your between. There is a lot of peer pressure at this age to ‘keep secrets’ with friends but explaining to your between the weight of the word ‘secret’ is key. Explain that there should never be secrets between your between and their family. Instead, try use the word ‘surprise’ to reframe the language into something positive, as the truth always comes out. This helps your between learn that adults and children should never share ‘secrets’.
♥ Privacy with agreed boundaries – As your between gets older, a diary or journal is an important way to help them regulate their emotions. It’s always important to discuss and agree boundaries of usage first! If the aim is for it to be used as a ‘feeling journal’, perhaps get your between to highlight the top of the page they are comfortable sharing with you in one agreed colour. You can then turn to the page highlighted and read through it together, if you are concerned about changes in mood or behaviour. Here, the diary/ journal becomes a safe space for your between to communicate to you without speaking.
♥ The Internet – a wonderful tool but only when used correctly! Explain to your between that once they have seen something, they can’t unsee it and that is why there needs to be mutual consent when using the internet. Moreover, anything uploaded to the internet/ social media can’t be easily taken down! So, anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, they should check with you before viewing/ uploading it. You will give them consent to use the internet, in return they give you consent to check certain things before they look/ post them up.