Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bubble Space

I had a dentist appointment yesterday. The lady that cleaned my teeth started talking to me about her five year old that's in preschool. Her son happens to have a friend that is a girl. In the past they have always kissed each other goodbye. She's trying to let him know that, it's no longer appropriate to kiss girls his age.

Then a girl that I teach with got a call from her daughter's principle saying, "We're having problems with ____ kissing boy's in class." She did her best not to giggle. Then had a talk with her daughter (who is in kindergarten). 

I told both ladies above about Mica's class in kindergarten having trouble with infringing on people's space. Mica's teacher says that this is very common with kindergarten, first and even second graders to want to give each other hugs and kisses. It's not just Mica that they are having problems with.

We as parents teach our kids to be affectionate. In their first years it's acceptable to kiss and hug the people they see. Most of them are relatives or close friends. We send them off into independent land; once they get comfortable with their fellow classmates some of them want to kiss, hug and boys often want to wrestle.

When I was in kindergarten I in no way thought about kissing a boy. I thought they had cooties.

What used to be acceptable in their minds is no longer acceptable. What once was cute, is no longer appropriate.

What are we doing about this:
  • We've talked to Mica's teacher a few times. She's really glad we're on her side. I guess a lot of parents don't care now a days, which is really sad! She thinks they get a lot of this from TV. Mica has barely watched TV. I can blame it on Disney's Princess' and Prince's. They really glorify a kiss!
  • We've talked to Mica many times about giving people space! At school they call this, "Bubble Space."
  • We've talked about germs.
  • We've talked about how it's ok to kiss and hug people like Mommy, Daddy, Grandma's and Grandpa's. It's however not ok to kiss or hug classmates.
  • He's had to write apology letters. 
  • We've sent him to bed early. With Mica, naughty behavior clears up with sleep much of the time.
  • Daddy emailed and asked Boys Town what to do? That may seem obsessive, but hey if they have the right answers then we need to hear them.
  • I've talked about role playing with Mica. He seems to like to act. Why not try to act like I'm a fellow student of his?
  • Daddy thought about making a contract with Mica. If he breaks it and infringes on someone's personal space at school, he looses something really important to him. We of course would explain all this to him.
I do have to say that I'm glad that Mica isn't the only one infringing on people's bubble space. He's not the only one that sticks out like a sore thumb. Then again, other classmates might be where he's getting this from.

What we don't want is Mica afraid to tell us when something goes wrong!


Eat To Live said...

Hmmmm..... when I was young, I never thought about hugging and kissing classmates. My family wasn't kissy, huggy so that is why I wasn't.

Wow! You really have your work cut out for you. Good Luck!

Liz Mays said...

Some people are just naturally loving and affectionate. It's kinda sad that we have to dampen their spirits, but whatcha gonna do. I'm sure he'll learn soon!

What I Did Today said...

I don't remember this being a thing until I was 7. But for my next youngest brother, it was totally common at 5. It's probably going to be a hard thing for Mica to refrain from as long as he's got other classmates encouraging him and setting that kind of example. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Gosh! This must be difficult as a parent to make a lil child understand why no kiss. I liked the concept of bubble space, some adults must learn this lesson too!


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