Learning about Touch

Each year in the elementary school, we do a unit on Safe and Unsafe touch. Often times, we call this our 'Personal Safety Unit'. Each grade level focuses on personal safety and how we can protect ourselves and others.

This year, I have introduced this unit in Kindergarten and Grade 2 with a book called, "Miles is the Boss of His Body". This book will also be shared with grade 1 this year as well, because the message is so important and valuable.

This book talks about a 6-year old boy named Miles who experiences some unwanted touches from his family members on his birthday. The book talks about how we are the bosses of our bodies. It is important for children to learn this at an early age and to begin to understand the importance of consent when it comes to any kind of touch. Check out the video below of the story.

In Kindergarten, students practice these two sentences:

  • My Body Belongs to Me!
  • I am the Boss of my Body! 
Especially at a young age, it is valuable to provide children with words to empower them. By doing so, we are teaching children that their opinions and ideas matter; we are also teaching them to listen to themselves and their feelings about touch. We also will discuss the 'Swim Suit Rule'. The 'Swim Suit Rule' is a rule that says- 'No one should touch parts of your body that are covered by a swim suit unless they are trying to keep you clean or keep you healthy and you feel safe'. By teaching this to children, we are helping them protect themselves from inappropriate touch and teaching them what to do and who to tell if someone does touch them inappropriately. 

In Grade 2, students also read the story but we dive deeper into different types of touch. Grade 2 students will learn about three different types of touch:

  • Safe Touch- These are touches that we feel safe and comfortable with (example: a hug from someone we love and trust OR a high-5 from a favorite teacher). We talk about how, even with safe touches, we should still ask before we touch someone.
  • Unwanted Touch- These touches are touches that we don't want or don't feel comfortable with (example: a friend tickles us but we don't want to be tickled). We talk about what we can do and say if someone tries to give us an unwanted touch. We also talk about how people feel differently about different types of touch. Some people like hugs, others do not. Some people like to be tickled, others do not. We should always ask to make sure first!
  • Unsafe Touch- These touches are unsafe and can make you feel hurt, uncomfortable, scared, sad, or confused. Included in this talk about unsafe touch, we also learn the 'Swim Suit Rule'. We learn that it is important to ALWAYS tell an adult you trust if someone touches you unsafely. 
Parents, talk to your children about safe and unsafe touches. Empower them to learn about their bodies and what they can do to protect themselves and others!


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