Growing up I remember my parents teaching me to say “please” and “thank you” and to greet the visitor by shaking their hand.

It was about being polite and respectful to others. Most importantly, it was “Follow the Golden Rule”. The Golden Rule in my family was to “Treat others the way we want to be treated”. Sounds like a simple concept, right?

Well these days with so many children being diagnosed with autism and sensory processing disorders, I tell parents the importance of teaching children about The Platinum Rule, which is “Treat others the way they want to be treated”

Some children do not like to be touched or hugged and would prefer space or a quiet spot to regulate. While other children may benefit from a tight bear hug or being patted calmly on their back.

In other words, teaching our children to be mindful and respectful of others knowing that the way they want to be treated, does not always mean everyone wants to be treated the same way. Here are some ways to help children be mindful of others.

Encourage children to respect each other’s space by doing these 3 things:

  1. It is important for a child to know its not ok to get in another child’s face and yell. One way to teach children about respecting each other’s space is to use a hula hoop. Ask the child to get as close to someone as the hula hoop allows. This can be a practice exercise for young children before starting pre-school or kinder.
  2. Another at home activity is teaching children what to do with their bodies. This means hands are not for hitting,
    teeth are not for biting others, and feet are not for kicking others. Instead you and your child can come up with creative ways to use their bodies such as hands are for helping and feet are for walking or running.
  3. Lastly, I would teach children to advocate for themselves. If they feel uncomfortable with another child’s play, they should know to say something or walk away and tell an adult. Children who are taught to advocate for themselves can eventually advocate for others!

Thanks for reading and hope you found these tips helpful!

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