Be It Adults Or Kids; Consent Is Important. Period.

I came across a video in which Santa Claus asks a small girl if she wants to sit on his lap. But the girl boldly says no. The heartwarming video upholds the importance of consent and control over the body even for kids.

Rudrani Gupta
New Update

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I was a child when an uncle asked me for a kiss. I wanted to deny it, but no one ever taught me to say no, especially to elders. I vividly remember the disgust I was filled with when he kissed me on the lips. I was reluctant to go near him but my upbringing, which especially focused on 'respecting elders', forced me to give in. And that helplessness and the consequent disgust still disturb me when I think about harassment. But recently, I came across a video in which a small girl stands up for her bodily autonomy by saying no. 


A three-year-old girl named Adley showed courage and self-assurance during a visit to Santa Claus at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami. The viral TikTok video, shared by her mother, Katie Love, has garnered a staggering 2 million views, highlighting a refreshing twist on the age-old tradition of children sitting on Santa's lap.

Why Is the Video Refreshing?

The heartwarming video that surfaced last week upholds the importance of consent and control over the body, even for kids.

In the video, Adley firmly declined Santa's invitation to sit on his lap, a deviation from the customary holiday practice. What makes this encounter truly remarkable is Santa's response. Instead of insisting on or dismissing her decision, Santa commended Adley for expressing her boundaries, stating, “This is her body, and she’s in control of her body.”


This empowering message resonated not only with Adley's family but also with thousands of TikTok users who flooded the comments section to applaud both Adley and Santa for redefining a decades-old tradition.

The consensus was clear—children can have boundaries, and their voices deserve respect.

Often, we ignore the consent of kids when we touch them. We often plant a peck on their cheeks without knowing how they feel about it. We assume that since they are kids, their consent does not matter. We objectify them as something that can be touched or played with at any time. 

I remember once, when I was narrating about my experience of sexual abuse, the listener made a bizarre comment: "If you were a child, then the person would have touched you with love. It might not be harassment." It's shocking, isn't it? But I vehemently denied it and said, "Even a child should be asked before touching them."

Teaching Consent Early

Moreover, for kids to understand the importance of consent and bodily autonomy, we need to change the way we raise them. Kids should be taught about good and bad touch, consent, and having control over their bodily choices. They need to be told that saying no is not an act of disrespect. It is a way to own your body and its choices and respect yourself. 


As adults, we too need to know that if a child says no, it means no too. The child is not rude, disrespectful, or unlovable. The child is just exercising their freedom and right to say no and protect themselves. Just like the Santa Claus in the video, we need to encourage kids to say no to things they don't like and stand up for themselves.  

How Can Childhood Trauma Affect Adulthood?

If kids are not taught about consent, they might be subjected to abuse that ruins their lives. Child sexual abuse is very common in our society, but justice for it is lagging behind. Because kids don't understand the meaning of good and bad touch, they often ignore sexual abuse. But later on in life, when they understand bodily autonomy, the experience of abuse becomes a trauma that affects their adulthood. They realise later in life that they were abused, and they have not been provided justice for it.

Many corrupt minds target kids only because they assume that kids won't deny it. That kid won't understand what they are doing or trying to do. But we need to change this reality so that neither kids are pushed into the dark nor perpetrators are encouraged to spread their crimes. 

 Views expressed are the author's own.

child sexual abuse sexual consent Santa Claus Childhood Trauma