What are Protective Behaviours?
Protective behaviours are the actions we take to keep ourselves (and others) safe. At OLOL, through the curriculum, we work with families to teach protective behaviours so that the children have the tools to recognise when something is not ok and know what to do about it.
Protective behaviours start from these start points
Over time, children will learn to recognise their own body signals of danger (these are called Early Warning Signs or your gut feelings). Sometimes we get these warning signs but do not know why (faster heart rate, sweatiness, hair standing on end, feeling confused, feeling scared etc.). We have to learn how to respond to these body warning signs when they happen because our bodies are designed to warn us if we are in danger so that we can protect ourselves. Our body signals can also happen when we take risks, or try something for the first time so as we grow and develop we learn when our bodies are preparing us for a fun experience that makes us a bit scared or when our bodies are telling us that we are in danger.
What is my Protective Network?
These are the trusted adults or friends that you will choose to talk to when you have a worry or concern. You will not always choose the same people for the same worry but it is important to share them with someone who will listen no matter how big or how small the worry seems. People who are your trusted adults will always
Someone might try to convince you that your worry is not important and that you can't share it with a trusted adult. This is never true and you can always share any worry, no matter how big or how small with another person. There is a difference between a good secret (like planning a surprise party or buying someone a nice gift) which makes people happy when the secret is shared and a bad secret which makes you unsafe and someone tells you that you must never tell.
At school, we use a hand to help us think about who our safe people are
Safe to Unsafe Continuum
We have a right to decide who comes into our personal space
We all have social distance zones - we choose which people interact with us in each of these zones and the zones will look different for everyone. Coming into someone's personal space without their consent can set off many early warning signs. We all have
It is important to know that we are important and represent the centre of our social distance zone. We decide who enters each zone except the public zone where everyone is allowed to be and where the least amount of direct interaction takes place. At OLOL, we teach children about boundaries and consent. No means no in all situations and we encourage children to say no confidently in regards their space and physical contact.
When we get early warning signs and feel unsafe, we need to make choices about what to do to make ourselves safe again. How we feel is how we feel but how how we behave is a choice. We make our own choices about the behaviours we choose and accept the consequences for those behaviours. At OLOL, children are taught to never come into someone's space or touch them (in rough play or for any other reason) without explicit consent. We teach that all games must have rules and outcomes that are agreed at the beginning by everyone taking part.