Once your child learns the basics about the different types of relationships, they next need to learn about the different things people do in those relationships.
Different types of relationships also involve different types of touch.
- Strangers don’t usually touch. Sometimes strangers might talk to each other. For example, to ask when the next bus is, or to order food at the restaurant
- Acquaintances might wave hello or shake hands. They might talk to each other, but usually not about private or personal things
- Professional helpers might wave hello, shake hands or give high fives. They might use touch to give help. They might talk to you about the thing they help you with. They should always ask you before they give help
- Friends might give each other hugs or kisses on the cheek. Friends might go out together, smile and laugh together, and talk about personal things.
- Family members might give each other hugs or kisses on the cheek too. Family members might go out together, smile and laugh together, and talk about personal things.
- Intimate partners might hold hands, hug, kiss or have sex. Intimate partners might go out together, smile and laugh together, and talk about personal things.
Each relationship is different. You might also need to remind your child of these differences as they grow up and their relationships change.
No matter what type of relationship, it is important to teach your child that both people must say ‘yes’ to any type of touch.