Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Teach consent to children as young as four

News Image

Educating children about what is OK and what isn’t and giving them the ability to say no to anything that doesn’t feel right with regards to their bodies should be started young.

Patricia Occelli, relationship experts Interrelate’s CEO says; “Parents should teach children the correct words for genital anatomy from as young as kindergarten so they can develop comfort in using these terms and build confidence in talking about their bodies.” 

“Interrelate delivers school programs that are pitched at an age appropriate level where children learn how to assert their right to feel safe. Our programs teach children about body safety and how to say no to unwanted touch. This includes teaching the children about privacy, private body parts and the importance that no one can touch them unless they say it is okay,” says Ms Occelli.

“The children practice saying “No, stop and don’t”. They are empowered to say no and they are taught that saying no should be honoured. The children are also taught how to report feeling unsafe to trusted adults and who a trusted adult can be.”

The NSW Government’s Sexual Assault Strategy will educate the wider community about what constitutes sexual assault and harassment, as well as raising awareness about consent, and Occelli believes its inclusion of children is to be praised.

“It is commendable that the strategy will also target young children. The most recent national figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare indicate that during 2015-16, there were 225,487 Australian children suspected of being harmed or at risk of harm from abuse and/or neglect. Protective behaviours education, which empowers children to assert their right to feel safe, should include education about consent from an early age.

Interrelate has been delivering relationship and sexuality education for more than 90 years, has learnt that many parents worry about giving their children information about sexuality and they are unsure of how to approach a topic such as consent.

The theme of respectful relationships runs through all of Interrelate’s education programs as children learn about what constitutes a healthy relationship, including setting healthy boundaries in relationships. Interrelate focusses on teaching holistic education addressing the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of sexuality.

National Child Protection Week runs from 2–8 September with a theme of ‘Play Your Part’, providing an opportunity to think about what can be done to protect the children in their community.


11 Apr 2019 | National
AITSL Stakeholder Survey now open News Image

Teachers, school leaders and the entire education sector can have their say in the 2019 Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Survey which is open now. Read More

11 Apr 2019
Early career teachers get dramatic with NIDA News Image

NIDA continues to invest in the creative practice of early career teachers in primary and secondary schools with the 2019 Creative Ambassador’s Initiative.
Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
New teachers love induction support app News Image

Downloaded more than 17,000 times, the AITSL My Induction app offers expert advice, answers to frequently asked questions and allows new teachers to track their professional wellbeing. Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
Reform of preschools front and centre in election period News Image

Research shows that two years of quality preschool sets a child up for success, and happily the issue is gaining traction with politicians.
Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
Domestic violence causes homelessness News Image

The number of people seeking help from homelessness services due to domestic and family violence has risen in recent years but only 4% of those who approached a homelessness service for long-term housing actually received it. Read More