In a consent lesson for her infant daughter, a Melbourne mother sparks debate.
A mother from Australia has gone viral on social media for the way she teaches her toddler consent.
Brittany Baxter uploaded a video to TikTok in which she described how she allows her toddler to decline hugs and kisses from relatives.
“As a mom, I model consent for my daughter, and something has been bothering me recently, so I figured why not bring it to TikTok so we can discuss it,” she explained.
“Could we please normalize the fact that children are not required to kiss in front of adults?“
“My daughter is nearly two years old, and I’ve been teaching her consent practically since the day she was born, and I find it extremely unhelpful when the adults in her life say, ‘What?!’ We have to request a kiss and a hug?’, despite the fact that I have explained why numerous times.
And then, when she says no, they’re like, ‘Oh she doesn’t love me, my feelings are so hurt,’ and they continue to violate her bodily boundaries regardless.
My daughter and her body do not exist to make someone feel more secure or loved; it is not her nor my fault that the older generation has not spent their entire lives learning how to control their feelings in order to prevent consent from being ignored.
No one’s feelings will ever be more important than my daughter’s right to her own body, and I am certain as s**t that I will never allow her to grow up in an atmosphere where she 1. does not know how to say no, and 2. does not know how to say yes. She has no idea what it means for her refusal to be respected,” she said.
“Grandparents are superior.”
The video has accumulated over 400,000 views and hundreds of feedback from supporters of her parenting style.
Brittany told Sunrise that she needs family members to obtain her daughter’s permission before touching her because “consent begins at home.”
“When we can’t teach our children to say no and if we can’t teach them that it’s acceptable to say no, how are they ever going to be able to do so when they’re in awkward situations?” she said.
The Melbourne mother admitted that her family initially struggled with the consent clause.
“I believe that by emphasizing the value of consent, they have come around,” she said.
Brittany said that the video elicited a “very mixed” response.
“A great many people are outraged, which I understand; a great many people have misunderstood the message that I’m attempting to convey.”
“However, a large number of people have backed it as well, which is remarkable.”