The Importance of Personal Space

When I brought Bambino home from the hospital, The Don was curious about his new baby brother.  The one thing that he was the most curious of is when I breastfed him.  The Don would come over to the couch and would watch Bambino suck on my nipple.  Then The Don would lean closer and put his head on the nursing pillow, then he started to get too close as if he wanted to suck my nipple.  I told him to give me space when I’m nursing.  Almost every time I would nurse Bambino, The Don comes over and I would tell him, “When mama is nursing, what does she need?” 

The Don would respond, “Space.” 

I would tell him, “That’s right.  Now go over there and play with your toys.”

When my son would come over while I was nursing his little brother and watch or try to nurse himself, it made me uncomfortable.  Although he may have been curious to see what was going on, The Don was in my personal space and he needed to know what that means.  I also think it’s important to teach him about his own personal space and how important it is for someone to respect that.  It’s my opinion all children need to know what their person space entails and to let people whether other children or adults if they are violating their personal space.

What I’m teaching The Don now is showing him what his personal space is.  I tell him anything within arms length is his personal space.  If you don’t want anyone in his personal space, you can push them away or walk away or run the other direction.  I want him to know its ok to tell someone including family members no without feeling guilty because it’s his body and he is in control of it.  I tell him if someone makes you uncomfortable I don’t care who it is to let mommy and daddy know.

This led me to teach The Don about his private parts.  Private parts are a very important element when discussing personal space in my opinion. From the moment he discovered that he had a penis, I wasn’t ashamed to call it what it was, a penis.  When he started to understand that mommy anatomy was different from his, I talk to him about how no one should touch his penis or butt except for him.  After his shower, I would tell him to dry off his penis so he knows that he touches it. Just recently, I started showing him how to wash his own penis so he knows that no one should touch his penis but him.  Sometimes he would come out of the shower and dry himself off and say, “No one touch my penis or butt!” I remember one time The Don was curious and grabbed my shorts and put his hands down and touched my vagina.  I told him that’s mommy’s private parts and you should not touch just like no one should touch your penis because it’s your private parts. When I said that, his mouth made a frown like he knew that was a bad thing to do. I think he understands. 

Sometimes children sense something bad with someone whether it’s your friend, father, mother, sister, brother or any person you come in contact with as a scary person.  Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean the scariness doesn’t exist.  Follow your children’s instinct even if you think they are being difficult.  They may be difficult for a reason. Teach your children about their anatomy and use the correct name for them.  Teach them about personal space and let them know its ok to say no if they don’t want a hug, or kiss, or tickle from someone and not feel guilty about it.  Parents see the child’s actions as being rude and they force the child on the person that will cause them the most physical, emotional, and mental abuse that they will suffer from for the rest of their lives.   It’s very important to me to teach both of my sons about personal space and private parts before some else who have bad intentions will.  It’s better to be safe than sorry and it’s better for my children to be rude to someone whether it’s family, friend, associate, or stranger then hearing from them years later that they have been abused by that person and I could have prevented it. That would be a guilt trip that I could never live with. 


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