Leah and I have been very deliberate in teaching the girls about the importance of consent. Other than health and safety concerns from specific people (mamas, grandparents, other care givers) their bodies are theirs to allow others to touch or not. They get to decide if they will allow someone to hug them, high five them, or provide any other contact. They also must respect that others can choose the same. Darwin may want to hug a friend, but must ask first, for example.
As you might expect, this is a long game kind of teaching. We’ve been working on it (both with her and those she interacts with on her behalf) for over two years. This week, we began to see the fruits of this labor.
“You’re supposed to ask before you rub my back MamaRae.”
I have rarely been prouder in my life. Now we get to see if she enforces her bodily autonomy outside of the mamas. Our toddler is becoming her own little person who can stand up for herself. This week has been rough, but that made everything else worth it.