An innovative picture book that teaches children it is ok to say ‘no’ to hugs and kisses is winning praise from parents everywhere.
And rightly so, particularly as worrying stats released last month revealed that more than half of us believe that you can’t withdraw consent once you get naked.
It’s clear that more education is needed to clear up the confusion and that’s exactly what a new book aimed at toddlers and young children is trying to do.
‘C Is For Consent’ by Eleanor Morrison aims to kick start a conversation about why its ok for little ones to refuse physical contact.
The book introduces children to the idea of setting boundaries via the illustrated story of Finn, a young boy trying to weave his way through a gathering of friends and family.
His parents are on hand to help Finn make his own choices about whether to receive and offer physical affection.
In one scenario, his grandma goes in for a hug, but Finn, who “isn’t in the mood”, is reminded by his dad that he doesn’t have to give hugs if he doesn’t want to.
Morrison decided to write the book as she believes confusion about physical contact in childhood could be linked to sexual consent later in life.
“As the mother of a young son, the #MeToo movement hit me deep in my gut,” she told HuffPost UK. “It is my responsibility to raise my little boy to respect body boundaries, and I wanted to give him a book to support that lesson. I looked around and could only find books on consent that felt appropriate for older children. I didn’t want to wait to start laying that foundation with my child, so I wrote my own book.”
Though the book was actually released in April it has been garnering attention online thanks to a Twitter user sharing images of its cover.
“They’re starting my 11 month old nephew early”, Zoé Samudzi, whose nephew was gifted the book, wrote along side the images.
They’re starting my 11 month old nephew early pic.twitter.com/PftCJkNtwj
— zoé samudzi (@ztsamudzi) October 21, 2018
And it quickly got other parents talking about the topic of consent in childhood and how they were introducing the subject with many praising the author for the book’s important message.
This book teaches babies about consent and that they can say ‘no’ to hugs https://t.co/ZTuD4vAMw1
— Becky Barnes (@BeckyBarnesB) October 22, 2018
— Brighton.LGBT (@BtonLGBT) October 22, 2018
Following its success, Morrison is planning a whole book series that could include “F is for Feminism” or “R is for Race.”
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