A Small, Important Lesson About Consent
One of my kindergarten boys kept hugging another boy in class. The hugger was smiling big time, and just trying to show the other boy that he cared for him. The huggee was noticeably uncomfortable at times.
Me: John*, I don’t think Sam* wants you to keep hugging him.
Me: Well, he isn’t smiling while you hug him. *John looks at Sam and back to me, inquisitively* Do you like to blow bubbles, John?
John: I love to!
Me: So do I. As people, we have a type of bubble around us, but it’s not a bubble we can see. We let some people that we really love come into our bubble, but we keep some people out of it. When you just hug someone without them saying it’s ok, you’re popping their bubble, which isn’t a very nice thing to do.
Sam: I have a bubble?
Me: Yep! And, if someone gets too close to you, or touches you when you don’t want them to, you can just tell them “you’re in my bubble”, and they’ll know to back away. *turning to John* If someone tells you to stay out of their bubble, you have to listen.
John: Or I’ll pop it?
Me: You got it.
Later, I saw John hugging Sam again, and I went over to say something. John looked at me and said, “He said I could be in his bubble, now!” and Sam just nodded with a big smile.
I want to thank my friend JJ for giving me the courage to teach complex ideas to children. I don’t know if this lesson will last, but it’s one we can continue to talk about.
Couldn’t kick the bridge’s ass, though.
I love gifs like this.
With a trick of the eyes or the mind, they’re either moving speedily along or their brakes have shot and zipping backwards into what is most likely a horrible, gruesome death.