It is essential for children to be aware of maintaining an appropriate distance in different social situations. This is not only for reasons of etiquette but also for their own personal safety.
By Team ParentCircle
‘It’s a big bad world out there’ is an oft used phrase in media to signify that not everyone is good. Truly so, there are evils aplenty all over the world, and protecting your child from these is a primary responsibility. Newspapers have been plagued by topics of child molestation and rapes, while television has been intently recreating them. However, just these aren’t enough to spread awareness. It begins at home.
In many cases, children do not know that they are being molested. The Bollywood movie, 'Highway' and the Hollywood movie, 'Perks of being a Wallflower', address this issue. Owing to such cases, it becomes important for parents to broach the topic of personal space with their child.
Referred to as proxemics in the study of non verbal communication, personal space deals primarily with understanding the physical distance between two individuals. Anthropologist, Edward T Hall describes four levels of distance that can occur in different social situations; stating that ‘intimate distance’ is often between 6 to 18 inches. This intimate distance is what needs to be taught to our children, because anyone getting close to the intimate distance, or breaching it, is a violation of one’s personal space.
Although most of us do start teaching children about personal space right from early childhood, like talking about their private parts, it is necessary that each parent teaches his or her child about safe touch and unsafe touch. “To talk to your child about private parts, use things like video, role play, or anything that you use to explain normal concepts to your child,” says Indrani Basu, Founder, Autism Society, West Bengal.
Here are a few specific ways in which you can teach children about personal space:
Remember that your child is your responsibility, and that it is your duty to ensure that your child is aware about personal space. Keep him safe from the big bad world.
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