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The Girl Scouts want you to talk about consent this holiday season

During the holidays, you're probably going to see a lot of relatives, family friends, etc. that you don't see on a normal basis. That's fun! Reuniting with loved ones = lots of love in the air. But there's also a good chance you're not familiar with some more distant relatives or you just don't feel comfortable showing them affection—and that's OK!

This holiday season, the Girl Scouts are reminding you and your parents about one important thing: consent (which is defined as permission for something to happen or agreement to do something). If your mom or dad suggests that you to say hello to a relative with a hug or say thank you for a gift with a kiss, know that you are not required to do that. Instead, the Girl Scouts say, offer a high five, a smile or blow them a kiss, and know that doing so is not rude.

Employing consent when you're young or as it pertains to relatives may seem silly, but Girl Scouts’ developmental psychologist Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald urges otherwise. 

"The lessons girls learn when they’re young about setting physical boundaries and expecting them to be respected last a lifetime, and can influence how she feels about herself and her body as she gets older. Plus, sadly, we know that some adults prey on children, and teaching your daughter about consent early on can help her understand her rights, know when lines are being crossed, and when to go to you for help.”

If you encountered this issue during Thanksgiving, talk to your parents to avoid any uncomfortable feelings in the future.

by Sydney Adamson | 11/25/2017
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