Noticing and Consent

Noticing and Consent

Consent remains an important issue for schools and anyone working with young people, and our current wellbeing theme of Noticing has given us a good platform to discuss these issues with young people.

Social situations can be challenging as we try to balance our own needs as well as the perceived needs of others and of the group.  Sometimes fitting in or being seen to be “part of the crowd” becomes a higher priority than listening to what our head or our heart is saying to us.

As young people get older and they may be trying out alcohol or even recreational drugs, their ability to listen to that inner voice and notice what is happening around them may be even further hampered.  This is an interesting conversation to have on it’s own – around ensuring you are able to make good decisions and that you have friends around you to help you do the same.

An eye to notice details in social situations and a willingness to reflect on both your own needs and the need of others can lead to a lot of clarity rather than confusion.

You might like to suggest a young person go through a series of questions in their mind in situations like these.


What do you notice about your own feelings?

  • Does the situation you are in make you feel comfortable?
  • Is the person you are with inspiring positive feelings?
  • Are you able to make a clear decision?
  • Is every part of you saying yes, or is there any element of worry that you need to examine personally or talk through with the person/people you are with?
  • What about the environment you are in? Does it make you feel safe?


What do you notice about the person you are with?

  • What is their body language saying? Does their body language agree with their words – or do you need to stop to take a moment to clarify things?
  • Are they themselves? Are they able to make a good decision, or has something impaired their decision-making process?
  • How is their mood? Are they with you because they respect you and care for you – or because they are jealous/lonely etc?
  • In the moment what are they responding to positively? Or negatively?


What do you notice about the people around you?

Keeping an eye on friends, is a wonderfully kind thing to do – and it was a topic recently reinforced by the Senior Boys Captains when they wrote for The Wellbeing Hive Recently.  You may even start the evening with friends by talking about what they want out of the night – that way you can all help each other meet these goals.

  • Is you friend behaving in character? Is their current situation aligned with their discussion of what they wanted earlier?
  • Are they making good decisions?
  • Do they appear comfortable with the person they are spending time with?

Being attuned to the people and situations around us helps us ensure we make decisions that are right for us, and that we support others to do the same.  This is just another way our Wellbeing Theme of NOTICING helps us.


Photo by Inga Seliverstova from Pexels

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