Children are not born with an understanding of common social cues, such as how close is acceptable to stand near other people. “Personal space” is an important concept for young children to learn to prepare for successful interactions with others, especially in light of the recent public health crisis.
This month, we are exploring how everyone feels more comfortable when each person’s personal space is respected. To help reinforce this concept at home, you can encourage your child to imagine a large, invisible bubble is around each person. Let him/her know it is only okay to come into another person’s bubble if they have given you permission to do so.
A person’s bubble may be bigger around strangers or acquaintances and smaller around close friends or family members. For example, it’s okay to hug and cuddle with family members, but that might make a stranger feel uncomfortable.
Model how to ask someone if it’s okay to hug them before just doing it. That helps your child learn to respect other’s boundaries and gain consent prior to invading someone’s personal space.