Tuesday, September 21, 2010

number one

1. model healthy boundaries-no one gets to touch, handle, or look at me in a way that makes me uncomfortable. we all know our children learn the majority of what they believe from observing us, so let's show them we are confident in our limits and take charge of how we are treated in all areas, not just sexually. the example that hit me hardest was that of an infant being held by a relative and exhibiting signs of discomfort...crying, arching back, etc. now, i would always have just let the baby continue being held for fear of hurting the adult's feelings and i would make up some excuse as to why the child was crying. the message i am sending it, those who are bigger, stronger, and older have the power over your body. it is futile for you to express discomfort because it will change nothing. now please don't think i'm saying that you have set your child up for abuse if you've done this (i've done this many times) i'm just trying to give you an example of how children perceive things. they are smaller, weaker, and always at the mercy of adults. if there are times we can give them some control, especially over their bodies, it will go a long way to build their confidence and ability to say "i don't like that."

4 comments:

Jeana said...

I guess the next level up would be not forcing your toddler or preschooler to hug or kiss anyone hello or goodbye. Maybe just offer to high five or wave. Safe adults seem to understand discomfort and are not offended.

Micah and Christa Forsythe said...

These thoughts brought peace to my heart.. I always thought I was an overprotective mom - by snatching my baby away when they cried and fought to get away. I love it that you are sharing highlights because when you mentioned the book yesterday I was thinking.. I need to read that book, but WHEN!!! I have so much to read, but so little time!

Liz said...

Well put.

kristal said...

jeana-loved your example for toddlers/preschoolers. i remember being forced to kiss relatives and even though i now know they were safe people, i still felt yucky and i just didn't like it. i love it when adults treat my kids like people, not just things to be made to obey. it helps me view my kids properly too.
christa-i'm so glad this brought some peace to your heart! i was far too concerned about what other people thought and just tried to ignore my boys' signals, but i'm so thankful i now have a better understanding that they are just trying to communicate and it is my job to listen and advocate for them. maybe i'll get it right with #3:)