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Tool of the Week: The Personal Space Tool
Posted 10/06/2017 02:00PM

Ever hear these words echoing though the house—"He's touching my stuff!" "Mom, get her out of my room!" "Move over!"

The Personal Space Tool addresses the need for clear physical boundaries. Many disruptive behaviors at school and home are a result of Personal Space or physical boundary "violations." How one stands in a line, sits in a chair at a table, sits on the rug in a group, and even how loudly a person speaks are all examples of how Personal Space affects us.

The Personal Space Tool gives children a vocabulary to talk about the "space" around them. Our sense of safety, discomfort, or well-being is affected by body language, gestures, position, posture, and voice tone, and volume.

Typically, children are not taught about spatial awareness and the social agreements about what is considered acceptable as it relates to Personal Space. With TOOLBOX they learn:

  • Every person has personal boundaries and a right to space around them.
  • Each person has a cause (impact) and an effect on others.
  • Each person has the responsibility to be sensitive to others' space.
  • How to honor and respect the personal boundaries of others.
  • How to communicate their needs for physical space boundaries. Here are some suggestions for bringing the Personal Space Tool home: Have family members practice asking for their "Personal Space," and remind each other when someone forgets.

Talk about what it feels like (the emotional discomfort) when Personal Space is not respected. During times of conflict, see if using the Personal Space Tool might help.

Evergreen School District

  • 3188 Quimby Road
  • |
  • San Jose, CA 95148
  • |
  • Phone: 408-270-6800
  • |
  • Fax: 408-274-3894
  • |
  • info@eesd.org
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