Anyone who has had someone wag a finger in their face or just felt claustrophobic from a too-close social conversation understands the social need for personal space. As my little guys used to say "You're in my bubble!" I found this image online and thought it was a pretty good representation to use in trying to teach this nebulous concept to my kiddos.
Have you taught yor children about personal space? Most children will pick it up on their own, but I think all children should be taught anyway. Why? 1- Because not all children will pick it up. and 2. Because even if they do, they will learn it at different times, which may mean they will learn it the hard way. Why not teach it deliberately and often at home, as they become old enough to understand.
Good friends...can be closer than arm's length.
Casual friends... from arm's length to the space across a table or between two living room chairs.
New acquaintances.... think of a circle the size of 6 people
Sense of personal space varies from culture to culture, but the bottom line is that you want someone you are talking with to feel comfortable, not crowded, to feel welcomed, not invaded. One good rule of thumb is to give space unless invited closer, and to teach kids that if someone gets uncomfortable to literally take a step back and create more space as the first step in defusing a situation.
Image credit: rightattitudes.com
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