Youth experts reiterate the importance of teaching consent early

MONTREAL, March 2, 2015 / CNW / - About 71 per cent of young people in Canada report dating someone before the age of 15. As spring break begins for […]

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MONTREAL, March 2, 2015 / CNW / - About 71 per cent of young people in Canada say they are dating someone before the age of 151. As spring break begins for a majority of Quebec families, Kids Help Phone encourages parents to take the time to talk about healthy relationships with their kids.

Almost 10,000 youth and teens contact Kids Help Phone each year for help with their relationships. Parents and other close adults can play an important role in developing and strengthening understanding of healthy relationships, including the concept of consent.

Understanding consent

Consent is not just about sexuality. It is about teaching young people to ask permission, instilling in them respect for themselves and others, and teaching them to set limits. It should be taught at all ages to help young people form healthy relationships throughout their lives.

I think I'm violent with my boyfriend ... Example: he and I find ourselves alone in my room hugging each other and he asks me to do things and I don't want to then he forces me to do it outright (or teases me until I do it or he say ok i'm leaving so i say yes because i don't want him to leave). I too am possessive but sometimes I have the impression that he uses me as an object… I would like to find a solution because I really love him and I am ready to change so that he has me. love without being possessive"

- Real message displayed on kids help

"When it comes to intimate relationships, it is essential to remind young people of this: it is you who decides what you are comfortable with, and you can choose to withdraw your consent at any time," says Andréanne Deschamps, Clinical team leader at Kids Help Phone. “If at the beginning you give your consent, for example by saying 'yes', and a little later you decide that it is 'no', then your partner must respect your change of decision. "

Healthy relationships

One of the most effective ways for parents and any other adult to educate the young people around them about healthy relationships is to set a good example in their behavior:

  • to remain true to oneself;
  • help others;
  • listen actively;
  • establish relationships of trust.

It is important to remember that these factors apply to all types of relationships, including those with friends, teachers, mentors and neighbors.

Red flags about a relationship:

It is estimated that between thirty and fifty percent of teens have experienced some form of physical assault in at least one romantic relationship.2.

“Parents should trust their instincts when it comes to the safety of their children,” says Ms. Deschamps. “As a parent, you might start by asking, 'Is everything okay? And list some things you noticed, such as changes in sleeping or eating habits. These signs may indicate that your child is going through a difficult time. Busy times like weekends or school vacations can be a good time to start this kind of discussion. Even if the youngster doesn't want to talk about it right now, it shows him that you care about what's going on in his life, and hopefully he'll know you'll be there when he's ready to talk. "

Kids Help Phone counselors are always there to help young people between the ages of five and 20 kids help or to 1 800 668-6868.



About Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone is a Canadian world leader recognized for its expertise and constant focus on innovation. It is the only youth organization available 24/7, across Canada, providing professional counseling and information. Since 1989, it has offered children, adolescents and young adults a lifeline through its free, anonymous and confidential service which - research shows - greatly improves the mental well-being of young people. Youth from communities across the country communicate with Kids Help Phone through phone, chat and web posting and can be referred through its database of 40,000 local community resources. Kids Help Phone's Always Listening websites and application are considered role models through their concepts of therapeutic games, tools and relevant information. Being in constant contact with young people, Kids Help Phone places their perspective and the improvement of their well-being in society at the very heart of its work. The organization collects a significant portion of its income from community members, foundations and businesses. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, it listens to 6.5 million young Canadians aged five to 20, in French and in English.

Accredited Member, Imagine Canada Standards Program.
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SOURCE Kids Help Phone

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