Personal space is the amount of room around our bodies that we need to feel comfortable. When someone invades this space we can begin to feel anxious and uncomfortable. However, many factors determine how much personal space we need but these include:
Whether we know the person
We tolerate family and friends closer to us than strangers
It is OK to stand very close to someone on a packed bus or train but not if it is empty
We tend to be more tolerant of people at our sides than to the front or back
Arm's Length Rule
Teach your child the 'Arm's Length Rule'. Explain how people feel uncomfortable when you get closer than this unless there is a very good reason. Model to them by extending your arm.
Using chalk draw a circle around your child's feet. Then stand at a good personal boundary distance and get your child to draw round your feet. When done stand to the side and discuss how far the feet are apart. Practice talking with you each standing inside your circles
Use imaginative play to create a force field around your child. Tell them this will stop other people getting too close to them. Let them act out their force field stopping them getting to close to others.