Let’s Talk About Body Boundaries, Consent and Respect by Jayneen Sanders will help parents to teach their young child about body boundaries and consent.
This is a lovely book that talks about consent in regards to someone touching your body. There are lots of different scenarios where children can see the different situations in which consent is applicable. Other topics are also discussed such as body safety, your support network or who to go to if you are ignored, how to play nicely and share, how to say no, managing bullies and more.
A lovely book that will help you to start having important conversations with your child about consent. Skills that they will need throughout their whole life!
Let’s Talk About Body Boundaries, Consent and Respect by Jayneen Sanders is ideal for children between the ages of 4 – 8 years of age.
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You can find more books like this in my list of Sex Education Books for Children.
You can also watch a video review or read the transcription below.
Hi, I’m Cath Hak from Sex Ed Rescue. Today we’re talking about a new book called Let’s talk about BODY BOUNDARIES, CONSENT & RESPECT by Janine Sanders. This book teaches children about body ownership, respectful relationships, emotions, choices and recognizing bullying behaviours.
This isn’t your typical story book. It’s more so something you want to sit down and read with your child because Sanders packs a lot of information into this book. However, it does have lots of pictures making it very visually interesting. This does make it very different from her other books.
Now, this is one of the few books I know that says it talks about consent. As you can imagine, Sanders does have a very direct form of speech, which she shows clearly in these books. But, keep in mind everyone talks about things differently and this is her own way.
The book starts off saying, ‘Your body belongs to you, you’re the boss of it, you’re special, there’s no one like you.’ This all sets the mood for what we’re about to read.
As I look at the quote, there’s also an image above it too. It’s a line up over very diverse group of children, something Sanders is good at doing. There’s a child in a wheelchair, gender-neutral children, children from different cultures, and so on. Instead of having a normal white, abled, skinny child, we have an entire range.
You can hear her using direct language as she says, ‘Everyone has a boundary. It’s a space around your body.’ Around the main information, there are bubbles with extra tips or activities. Personally, I don’t do the activities, but there are parents who do. Either way, it is very useful for starting conversations with your children.
Another page I’m looking at right now is a fantastic example of Sanders’ writing. It’s a paragraph about consent, and it’s much longer than what you would find in normal kid’s books. That is important.
Consent isn’t black and white; there’s so many subtle layers and things kids need to understand. If they can understand they’re the boss of their own body, this will massively help them out later in life.
Then there’s a picture showing a boy trying to hug his sister who looks uncomfortable. The book tells the audience this is wrong and what they should have done instead.
The boy should have asked if he could hug her first. Then, she can say, ‘Yes’ or even, ‘No, I don’t feel like hugging today.’ This way, the little girl can answer because it is her body and her choice. If she does choose yes, then it is fine to hug her since both agree. If she did say no, then the brother should respect that.
Now, this idea of consent for hugs and kisses can be tricky. For example, what about when grandma visits and she believes they should give her hugs and kisses. Whether this is because she just doesn’t understand or doesn’t care, it is a common problem. A lot of people don’t respect children when they say no.
It also has other situations like other family members touching them, and even with someone holding your hand. How do you deal with this? She talks about it briefly, but it isn’t a focus.
Then, she talks about when you should tell an adult about something. So, important information on keeping yourself safe. There’s a large list of things this book covers: cuddling with people, touching, body boundaries, then playing.
Playing is an especially broad topic Sanders covers. There are things like how to play nicely, like sharing with others. Also, what to do if someone is being a bully and how you should react to that. Other than all of that, consent is a largely covered topic.
Look, there’s a lot of topics in these books. This is because consent is a topic that overlaps over a lot of other topics. You can’t talk about one without explaining the others.
One of the pros to having so many topics is that you have so many starting points for conversations.
This book is good for five to eight-year-old kids, depending on the child. If your child does have a shorter attention span, you could break it up into two books. So, have a break right before they start talking about playing well.
This is one of the few young children books that does talk about consent. Which, I hope that changes since there are so many ways to talk about consent and so much important information.
So those are my thoughts on it.
I hope that helps, cheers.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.