Monday, September 13, 2010

Respecting Childrens Boundaries

Excuse me while I have a bit of a vent, but this has been bugging me for a looong time. Why don't people respect the personal boundaries of children? You wouldn't go up to a strange adult you didn't know and pat them on the head or try to pick them up of give them a hug. So why is it okay for you to do that to my children?

You also wouldn't pat a strangers dog without asking the owners permission first and yet people are always patting my children without asking their or my permission first.

Iris in particular is very wary of strangers and really doesn't like being touched by anybody and yet the colour of her hair seems to attract random petting. If she's yelling "Go away! Don't touch me!" please leave her alone and don't touch her (really pretty simple). Just coz they're cute, doesn't mean they're friendly (much like strange puppies!). Maybe my daughter needs to bite someone to get some recognition of her personal boundaries?

I would really like for my daughter to learn that when she says "don't touch me" she will be respected. It's really important for her to know that it's okay to say "don't touch me" and that her wishes need to be respected by others when it comes to personal boundaries.

The next person that pats my daughter on the head might find that I am going to do the same to them...


  1. I've never understood it either. Seems like common sense not to touch someone without their consent. But then I'm a feminist, we tend to think a lot of things are common sense that fall outside the brain scope of most ;)

    Really agree with your point about little girls learning about personal boundaries. I've read lots of feminist blog posts about how hard it is for young women to learn to assert their bodily integrity because they've been raised in cultures where they're boundaries have never been respected and they've been expected to submit to strangers touching them, forced kisses and hugs for greetings and goodbyes, sitting on santas lap etc. I'm glad I'm not the only parent who thinks about this shit and tries to do something to arm my daughter!

  2. Yes! It's so obvious and so easy.
    And people also need to respect non physical boundaries. If a child does not want to chat, the stranger shouldn't be getting right in her face and commenting "Oh, she SHY!" if conversation is not forthcoming.

  3. Totally agree! And its not just important for girls but boys as well. I want my sons to grow up knowing there personal boundries are respected. That what they say is listened to and adhered too. If they are respected they will respect others boundries as adults!


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