From Daily Mail: A controversial campaign encouraging parents to teach their children about consent from a young age has prompted widespread debate online.
The meme which first started circulating in October and has since resurfaced features a picture of a young blonde girl. The photo is accompanied with the words: ‘I am five. My body is my body. Don’t force me to kiss or hug. I am learning about consent and your support on this will help me keep safe for the rest of my life.’
The meme was recently shared by New Zealand organisation Safe kids, thriving families who were supportive of the message.
They accompanied the meme with a status which read: ‘Supporting our children’s understanding of body autonomy has a lifelong reach. Let’s do all we can to normalise a child’s right to do what they want with their own bodies.‘
The post has since been shared over 50,000 times and has hundreds of comments, with opinion from parents very much divided.
Many parents agreed that the meme was spreading a positive message to children and their families.
Chantelle wrote: ‘If a person wants to hug, kiss or otherwise physically interact with a certain person and it is mutual: great!If its not mutual its not ok.Children are taught to respect property, why cant adults respect them?’
Becca agreed adding: ‘Teaching our little ones boundaries and respect for their own bodies and that of others is vital!
‘If an adult is making a child feel uncomfortable in any way “they” are in the wrong. Not the child. Back off. Love and respect are earned, not forced or taken.’
Courtney: ‘Omg what’s so difficult to understand. If a child doesn’t want to hug or kiss someone they shouldn’t have to.
‘It may be innocent to you but if a child feels uncomfortable with it they should be able to say that to their parent.’
However, while many considered it to be an important message as many completely disagreed arguing that children should be encouraged to show affection.
Donna argued: ‘So, we are going to make something innocent and used as a show of affection and turn it into something perverted?
‘THIS is what is inherently wrong with our country. Human beings scientifically NEED touch for survival. It releases much needed endorphins which produce positive feelings in human beings.’
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