it’s a tricky thing to figure out how to show affection to kids while respecting their personal space. we want them to experience safety and contact at the same time. we want them to feel nurtured and learn to pay attention to that “uh ho” feeling. the language we’ve used is to not hit or touch friends (including teachers) in the areas that a swimsuit would cover up. we also suggest that when/if they are being touched there, that they can ask why. then we equip families to continue the conversation (letting them know we started it and encouraging them to continue it).
(photo from way back in fall 2009)
but we are a hands-on preschool. we hold the children, we pick them up, we wrestle, we cuddle, we rub backs. we also listen and STOP when a child asks us to. we model these boundaries when we ask children to not hit, poke or pat our bottoms (though we do understand that this is simply the funniest thing ever), etc. only once can i remember evidence so clear: