How To Teach Preschoolers Personal Space and Boundaries
Lately, I have been struggling with trying to teach Averie that not everyone likes to be touched and not everyone likes people in their faces. At times, I feel like a broken record. I even caught myself quoting the lines of Dirty Dancing (This is my dance space, This is your dance space…) to get my point across. Years ago, when I was in high school my mom and I were watching a show that had preschoolers walk the halls in hula hoops as a way to teach personal space and boundaries. Since, then my mom and I often giggle and joke when people are too close we say, “hula hoop!” Joking aside, I think playing games and using fun is a great tool to help model personal space. Preschoolers aren’t aware of the personal space of themselves or others. It is important as parents to model personal space and boundaries and to teach children how to interact with others. It is also important to praise, praise, praise when your child is respecting someone’s personal space. Positive reinforcement is a great tool! Click; here for more great suggestions and games to play with your preschoolers. I also found these great picture books to help children understand the importance of personal space. I just purchased Personal Space Camp Activity and Idea Book and Hands Are Not for Hitting .
To be honest I do not know if I have ever thought specifically of what I am doing to teach this to my children. I instill every day elements of respect and manners with the children. I try to correct on the spot behavior issues that are violations of personal space and boundaries, such as interrupting adults when they are talking, or climbing all over people. I think these are things that are taught by constant repetition and demonstration, and best taught in the moment. Since a preschooler has no general concept about personal space and boundaries, they have to be shown. And of course one of the best ways to do that is to make them think about how they feel when someone invades their personal space or breaks boundaries that make them uncomfortable.
Such an important topic to discuss and teach your children! What works for some may not work for others! Everyone deserves to have their own personal space and feel comfortable in it! But this is something that is so hard when you have two children almost five years apart! Isabella wants to do absolutely everything Christian does, play with everything he has and follow him around constantly. Talk about personal space and boundaries… Going through this the last few months has been an ongoing lesson for all of us. I enforce respect, space and effort.Respecting each other is important in any relationship you will have! When you’re talking about kids, they don’t see it the same way! It takes a lot of time and patience for them to get along and understand each other. Both of my kids are changing and growing so much that it’s going to be an ongoing task as they continue to grow!Everyone needs their own space. Believe me, this Mama understands the importance of S P A C E. Once the kids are in bed, household tasks are done, and lunches are packed, I thrive for alone time in my own little space doing whatever I want J I want to teach this to my kids as well! I encourage them playing together and interacting with other kids, but it’s also important that they know how to play by themselves and entertain themselves, and that’s okay!It takes an effort from Mommy, Daddy and siblings to maintain and respect each others personal space and boundaries. When kids are really young they don’t understand it, but it’s important to start teaching and making them aware at a young age so they develop this by school age.