We’ve all watched as a young child leans into another’s personal space and receives a ‘go away’ signal from their peer, right? As caregivers we don’t want to shame the ‘space invader’ nor their instinct to seek friendship, but neither do we want to encourage a child’s ignoring boundaries. And if it’s our child who is feeling invaded by another person, we want to teach them to speak up for themselves. Learning about personal space helps everyone be more socially successful.
Here’s what kids need to know:
· We all need personal space and different people have different space needs.
· Try words like, “Please give me more space.”
· When someone asks for more space, be sure to listen. It helps to look the other person in the eye when you are near. They will show you with their expression how they are feeling.
Here are a few things you can try:
· Play the space game. Ask children how big their space bubbles are. Lean in and lean out till you find the boundary.
· Have children draw a picture of their own space bubbles.
· Print out the Stinky & Dillard images from the ‘Activities’ page and create stick puppets. Make up your own personal space stories.
Watch the episode 'Personal Space' and follow up with these conversation starters:
If you were playing with Dillard and he got too close, what would you say?
What would you do if he didn’t listen?
How big is your space bubble with friends? With family? With strangers?
I’m so glad you found your way to this ‘space’. We hope we’ve been helpful as well as entertaining.
All the best,