Your Body Your Choice

Your Body Your Choice

by Christy Graham LPC
Play Therapist Supervisor
Acorn Counseling Education Services
940.222.8703 •

Remember the excitement and dread the holidays brought as a child? Remember that one family member that always wanted a too-long hug or patted your head just a bit too hard? Remember finding reasons to not be around the adults so that you wouldn’t have to endure it? You wonder if there is something you can do so your child won’t have that same experience….

We want our families to be close and youngsters need a lot of touch, but we also want them to know touch is
their choice.

How do we balance these needs?

• Be honest! When my kids were young, I taught them that connection, particularly physical, is their choice. [Go to my blog to learn why]. I told the family my purpose was to create intentional connection with
my kids.

• Be Clear! Two short sentences conveyed the message: “My body, my choice.” “Hugs and kisses if you got them, high fives if you don’t.”

• Be Focused! Our family used these phrases a lot. If we were wrestling and wanted to stop- “My Body My Choice!” Everyone would scramble to stop immediately. At goodbyes, we said: “Hugs and kisses if you have them, high fives if you don’t!”

Our kids are older, but they still recite these mantras. Our conversations about boundaries focus on those outside the family, but these statements still teach respect for personal space. When an unwanted touch comes their way, my kids know the choices and the rule: my body, my choice. Wouldn’t that save a lot of pain if everyone knew that?

Need help teaching boundaries to your little ones? Has something negative already happened to you or your family? Christy has been helping families and individuals for 17 years come up with great ways to talk about boundaries and heal from trauma. Call her! She can help. Acorn has same week appointments
most weeks.

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