Preschoolers Can Set Boundaries Too!

Bounce houses are a saving grace for parents on cold weather days! Today was one of those days and all the schools were closed. So I, like half the other parents in town, took my children out to a local bounce house. There were A LOT of kids!

My 3 year old became nervous as some of the bigger kids pushed right past him on the structures. At first he came and told me what was happening. (He was practicing his Kidpower Getting Help skill!)  I walked over to a slide with him and firmly but kindly told the child behind him to wait her turn. (When she did I thanked her for doing such a great job!)

The next step was to teach him to set the boundary on his own. I told him that if someone was too close to him he can say “Stop! It’s my turn.” He practiced a couple of times and then ran off to play. A few minutes later he came back and whispered, “What are the words when someone is behind me?” We practiced again and high-fived. This happened 2 or 3 more times. Then he came up to me and TOLD me in a strong voice, “Stop! It’s my turn!”, smiled, and ran off again to play. As I watched him continue to play I noticed he no longer looked nervous and tentative. He came across more confident and I even saw him turn around once to another child and use his new skill!

Authentic lessons are so effective and take no time to prepare! Opportunities to teach personal safety skills present themselves all the time. Take advantage of these little moments to give your children language they can use to keep themselves safe and develop their confidence. It makes a difference!

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