Knowing when you can change your mind helps to prevent problems and improve relationships.

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of our global efforts to help protect kids from abuse, bullying, and other harmful behavior, each day this month, we will share a time-tested skill from our Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Skill #15: The Right to Change Your Mind. Often kids and adults get stuck when someone says, “But you said this was okay!” Or even, “But you liked this before.” Kids need to know that they have the right to change their minds about doing things that are supposed to be for fun or for showing affection, even when it’s somebody they know, such as a family member, friend, or teacher. Use this simple role play to teach kids how to set this kind of boundary in a respectful and effective way.

This full practice is a part of the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Kids need to know that they have the right to change their minds about touch for fun or for showing affection (which means showing someone you like them). This kind of touch should be a choice. You can practice setting boundaries in a simple way by putting your hand on the child’s shoulder.

Say, “Let’s say you liked my putting my hand on your shoulder and then you changed your mind. It’s okay to change your mind about touch and attention for fun or affection.”

Put your hand on the child’s shoulder. Coach the child to move your hand gently but firmly away and say, “Please stop touching my shoulder.”

Say, “But you liked this.”

Coach the child to reply, “I’ve changed my mind.”

For a FREE explanation on the simple methods you can use to teach children to use each of these skills, download the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook on our website –this ebook will be FREE of charge in English, Spanish, and Arabic in honor of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Please share this skill with others. Let’s work together to teach young people to take charge of their safety, increase self-confidence, and develop healthy, positive relationships! 

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Published: April 15, 2019   |   Last Updated: April 15, 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.