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being a mom

One Mom Explains Why She Always Asks Permission Before She Picks Her Baby Up

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These days, more and more parents are understanding the importance of consent. Not only are they teaching their kids to about consent, they’re adjusting their own behaviors accordingly. I know when I was growing up, whatever mom and dad said or did was basically law. So if my mom wanted to brush my hair when I didn’t want to, or if my dad wanted to tickle me, I had no choice. But I’m breaking that cycle with my son, as are many others. And in an Instagram post, one mom explains why she asks her baby permission before picking him up.

Nisha Moodley is a women’s leadership coach and mother to a cute little boy named Raven. She’s also big on asking and getting consent. Case in point, one of her most recent Instagram images of her and her son. In it, Moodley tells it like it is.

“Since the moment he was born, we’ve always asked before we pick him up. I always feel for his “yes”. Why? Because we want him to know that his body is his, and that others’ bodies are theirs, and no one gets to make choices about someone else’s body,” Moodley says in the post. She adds hashtags like #endrapeculture because that is, essentially, what she is hoping to do.

“I don’t ever want my son to be a sexual perpetrator or the victim of one, and the best thing I can do is honor his choices about his own body,” Moodley said in an interview with Yahoo Beauty.

In an article by the Atlantic, Laura Palumbo (a sexual violence prevention specialist) noted that teaching kids age-appropriate, anatomically correct terms for all body parts can help deter abuse. The odds are likely that also teaching kids to say yes or no and decide when and how they are touched would also help prevent abusers from harming children.

Plenty of parents responded kindly to Moodley’s post (which now has over 600 likes). Some might wonder how she’s able to actually get consent from her son, who is still so young. She says that she can read the boy’s body language, like reaching out if he wants to be held and turning away if he doesn’t.

I’m totally not surprised by her method. Without actually saying it out loud to others, this is exactly what I’ve done from day one. And now that my son is a toddler, he is learning to ask to be picked up when he wants, asks for hugs, asks for kisses. Of course, there are some spontaneous ones when we’re both feeling cuddly, and that’s OK because that understanding and trust has been developed. The important thing is to establish it early, just like Moodley is doing.

(Image: Instagram / @nishamoodley)

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