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We sometimes ask our students in workshops, “How many of you don’t like being told what to do?”

Most of them will raise their hands!

“And how many of you don’t like being told that you did something that someone else didn’t like?”

Again, most hands go up – including our instructors!

Many people have a hard time noticing and respecting personal boundaries. Often, even people who care about someone very much will not notice someone’s boundary; not listen when someone says stop; get upset with the person setting a boundary; or try to pressure someone into letting them do what they want, even if they’ve been told to stop. This can also happen with people you are not close to, as well as with people who actually intend to do harm.

Whether boundaries are being crossed through lack of awareness and thoughtlessness, or intentional abuse, we are all safer when we are prepared to persist in setting boundaries and getting help.

Kidpower’s Five Levels of Intrusion are used to prepare young people and adults to set boundaries that can prevent #MeToo and other problems, if someone:

  • Doesn’t Notice
  • Doesn’t Listen
  • Gets upset/uses emotional coercion
  • Breaks the safety rules/crosses the line with bribes, threats, or breaking the safety rules about private areas
  • Makes them promise not to tell

For a description about how to practice persisting, see our article: Kidpower Skills to Persist in Setting Boundaries Through 5 Levels of Intrusion.

Some people have told us about abuse prevention training with confusing messages about good touch/bad touch; or inaccurate sayings like, “You don’t have to let someone touch you,” which can be counter-productive.

Instead – give kids, and the adults that care for them, the very clear safety rules for touch and consent, described in our article Touch and Consent in Healthy Relationships.

Many schools and youth organizations print out and post these posters with the Kidpower Consent Checklist to help prevent and solve problems with boundaries about touch, teasing, or play for fun and affection.

Please share these free resources with everyone who is responsible for the care or well being of children.

Imagine how much misery can be prevented when everyone has these skills! 

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Published: February 21, 2019   |   Last Updated: February 21, 2019

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.