The importance of consent needs to be imbibed in people from a young age so that they can respect their own as well as others' boundaries.
Children can be very impressionable. They learn what they see, which is why being good role models for them is crucial. In a story shared on Reddit by u/No_Departure_937, she talks about how she took a stand for her daughter against her mother-in-law. She inadvertently showed her daughter that she's always got her back. It is something every child deserves to know in their heart.
This story was narrated by a 39-year-old South Asian woman who has a 14-year-old daughter named Vihana. Vihana's father is from a white family, which includes his mother Connie, father Tom and sister Lucy. One weekend, Connie decided to take Vihana over to their house so that she could spend some quality time with her grandparents. Since this was a common thing, the mother wasn't worried. She said, "They've had my daughter over for weekends and holiday stays before so I wasn't worried about anything happening and Vihana seemed fine during our morning and nightly phone calls." However, everything wasn't fine.
When Connie dropped off Vihana, the latter looked different. Her long waist-length hair was now shorter, coming down only to her shoulders. And her curls? They were gone, all straightened out. It didn't make sense to the mom because she knew for a fact that her daughter was looking forward to growing her hair longer with the curls. As suspected, Vihana didn't want it either. However, Connie lied to her saying that Vihana's mother had given permission and so, she went ahead and gave the young girl a makeover. That is also why there was no mention of it over the phone calls.
As you'd expect, the mother was upset. She discussed the same with her husband. They mutually decided that going forward, Connie wasn't allowed to meet her granddaughter alone until she learned how to respect the girl's boundaries. They also went on to call the father-in-law, Tom, who was just as horrified as them since he too was fed the same lie by his wife. Even then, he apologized profusely.
Next, the woman and her husband Cole texted the mother-in-law, informing her of their decision to not let Vihana meet her alone until she was respectful to her and apologetic for what she did. Connie didn't reply for a while, but when she did - she was apparently furious for two reasons. One, because she wasn't being allowed to meet her granddaughter. Two, because the couple informed Tom who was now living in a hotel, contemplating his marriage to Connie. Even Cole's sister Lucy was mad and abused Vihana's mother.
The mom added, "Lucy is calling me a b***h for what I did and saying that it wasn't a crime for my mother-in-law to act in my daughter's best interest even if she went behind my back because clearly, I wasn't going to take care of her." u/Eastern-Worldliness suggested, "Consider adding your sister-in-law to the list of people not allowed near your daughter too." It is important for parents to ensure that no one pushes their kids to do something they don't want - even if it's family. After all, personal boundaries come first.