'C Is For Consent': The Book Teaching Kids They Can Say 'No' To Hugs

If your child doesn’t want to give you a hug or a kiss, don’t take it personally – it’s up to them, as an innovative picture book aimed at babies, toddlers and children aims to show.

Starting a conversation about why it’s okay to say no to physical contact, ‘C Is For Consent’ dispenses a series of important lessons about setting boundaries, and why it’s important children feel able to have their say from an early age.

Zoé Samudzi

Eleanor Morrison penned the book during her son’s naps

Published in April, the book came to Twitter’s attention over the weekend when Zoé Samudzi, whose nephew was gifted the book, shared pictures of its cover and blurb, remarking: “They’re starting my 11 month old nephew early”.

Funded via a Kickstarter campaign, the illustrated story follows Finn, a young boy who navigates a family gathering, and people’s expectations of physical contact – specifically when to offer and receive it. In one scenario, his grandma goes in for a hug, but Finn, who “isn’t in the mood”, is reminded by his dad that he doesn’t have to give hugs if he doesn’t want to.

At the end of the book, Finn applies the lessons he learned at the party and gets consent before holding his best friend’s hand.

Talking about future interactions with her nephew, Samudzi commented: “I, for one, am never ever going to make him hug me. I’d hope he’d want to and I’d be a little sad if he didn’t, but his learning to assert his autonomy and to respect the autonomy of others is a lot more important than my feelings.”

The book’s author, Eleanor Morrison, said that she wrote the book during her child’s naps. In an FAQs section on the…

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