Rachel Brian, best known for her viral videos - Tea Consent and Consent for Kids -, has written a book that will hopefully be viewed by as many people as the one hundred-and-fifty-million that have seen her videos.
Consent and boundaries can be confusing. Who doesn’t like a hug, to be tickled, to play fight, to high-five? Well, as it turns out, lots of people. You have the right to say no to all of these things. Your body and your own personal space are yours and yours alone and you are in control. It is time to learn how to set your own rules, to take charge and become a master of consent and boundaries…
Wow, what a powerful and important book. Some things definitely do come in small packages and this is without a doubt one such thing. A very serious topic is handled sensitively, in a non-threatening way and with a great deal of humour.
Adopting a straight-forward approach and speaking directly to kids in a way that they will understand and engage with, Respect: Consent, Boundaries and Being in Charge of YOU is empowering and will support children of all ages in feeling confident, respected, and in complete control of their own bodies and personal space. The practical, supportive and accessible advice will have children confidently setting boundaries, reflecting on their own behaviour and learning how to be a proactive onlooker/bystander. Through clear examples and short, sharp information, children are equipped with the knowledge to not only be in control of their own boundaries but how to be mindful and respectful of the boundaries of others.
The book begins with an explanation of consent and boundaries before going on to explore giving and getting consent, listening to your gut, saying no and the right to change your mind, healthy relationships, reflecting, and helping others in uncomfortable situations. Included at the end are phone numbers and websites of where professional help can be sought.
Brian strikes a perfect balance between the serious and the funny, managing to deliver hard-hitting messages with a light-hearted touch. She does not shy away from serious issues and tricky social situations, dealing with bullying, grooming and over-affectionate friends and relatives. I was thrilled to see that she also made reference to the dangers of social media and the sharing of photos.
Layout and presentation is everything in a book like this and what Brian delivers is smart, simple and clear. The uncluttered layout keeps things focused and really does hammer home the key points. Expertly presented information never feels overwhelming - everything is covered in short and concise chunks. Funny and informative cartoon style illustrations and short comic strips make for a read that is very-accessible and reader friendly.
This is one of the best children’s books that I have read around the topic of consent. It is a perfect introduction to a challenging topic and is a read that I recommend for children of all ages, even those in their early teens. Great for opening up discussions around boundaries and consent, it could be read independently by confident readers and is an ideal book for adults to share with younger children.
A brilliant book that should be in every home, classroom and library.
Recommended for 6+.
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