When the comedian Russell Brand said that tickling a child without their consent should not be allowed, he opened a whole new chapter, sparking debate amongst parents. Some of them were outraged at the idea of asking their kids for permission before ticking them, while others felt this was an important issue. However, Brand had a reason for his statement.
I ticket my children, I love to hear their laugh. My daughter is 3, she tells me to tickle her & tells me when she had enough. My son is 5months I tickle him and he laughs & I don’t see a problem in any other family member tickling them either.@thismorning #ThisMorning
— meg. (@Meggyhillx) February 1, 2019
Speaking to Daily Star, Brand said that he regrets having tickled his friend David Baddiel’s son, Ezra, in the past. Now, a father himself, he said:
To recall doing this to Ez fills me with dreadful shame and makes me want to punch myself in the face. Which is what I will do to anyone who tickles either of my daughters until they are old enough to decide for themselves whether they want to be tickled or not, which by my reckoning is at 35.
#thismorning tickling illegal? What next? Definitely promote a child’s right to say no but as if our legal system doesn’t have enough to deal with… can you imagine pressing charges… just what a child needs!!
— Gemma cattell (@GemCat1981) February 1, 2019
Lottie Daley, a writer, and PR media consultant, and also Russell’s friend, appeared on This Morning to discuss this particular topic. Check out the video below:
Source: This Morning
Lottie said that asking children permission actually helps them learn about consent, saying:
When you start learning about body autonomy and consent for our children when they become a bit older, we should be modeling this behavior from birth, like letting your baby know you are changing its nappy.
Regarding her parenting style on the topic, she explained:
I want her to know that it’s her body. It’s not a case of them saying ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ it’s modelling that repetition and a habit of checking in with your children and making sure they are happy with what you are doing with them…
She also added:
When I’m washing my daughters, who are a bit older, they are seven and five, when I’ve got to wash their bottoms, I do say, ‘Can mummy just wash your bottom?’ because sometimes you have to. And they say, ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
#ThisMorning I definitely think tickling should not be allowed on children I was tickled as a child and although u laugh it feels like some form of torture. I hate it so much. I believe it causes children to have a stutter and on babies it should definitely not be allowed.
— stephanie antonio (@stephan75813665) February 1, 2019
She also spoke about her daughters’ perception of being tickled by a person other than their mum:
I asked my children, ‘Do you like tickling?’ and they said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Would you like it if someone else did it?’ and they said they would be scared… because it wasn’t me.
Lottie also added how other parents should consider this important issue:
We need to rethink the wider issue of consent, it’s not just applicable to teenagers, it’s applicable from birth. I think we should start to ask those questions and when you look at the wider context, we need to.
— kira butcher (@kirabutcher) February 1, 2019
Anyhow, Vanessa Feltz, who was also in the studio, did not think alike, saying:
As far as I’m concerned I think it’s an absolute shame that we have to mix up tickling a child that we know, you have to be on tickling terms with the child you don’t just swoop in and tickle a child you don’t know.
But tickling is the ultimate in innocent love, care, fun, physical contact with a child that you love and they love you. Am I invading their space? No!
Cracking up at this poor woman trying to put across her serious opinion about tickling being bad on @thismorning and they just really rubbing it in with a giant Mr tickle dancing next to her! 😂 pic.twitter.com/SRqyuTDHG3
— Shibbyface (@Shibbyface) February 1, 2019
How do you feel about this? Let us know in the comments below.
You might also want to read: Age of Consent: What Are Age Of Consent Laws