Personal Bubble

Okay…let’s take a moment to be completely honest with ourselves.

We have all tried to figure out a way to get our kids to back off a bit and give us some space right?

No matter how much you love them, and I’ll just say it’s a whole heck of a lot, everyone needs some time alone. At least I am pretty sure I’m not the only one that feels this way.

Heck who knows…maybe I am having one of those “bad mom” moments that people talk about.

Anyways, as I was saying you may have even come up with a cute saying to let them know when they are too close and I would love for you guys to bombard my comments section below with your version!

First let’s take a look at the traditional way of saying it and what it means.


Some of us need more of it than others. Per Wikipedia: “Personal space is the region surrounding a person which they regard as psychologically (mentally) theirs…There is an intimate zone (lovers, children, close family), conversational (friends) zone, a further (strangers) zone, and a public distance (public speaking) zone.”

When people come into our personal space uninvited we feel uncomfortable and sometimes angry.

Your options when someone invades your space:

-Bite your tongue and “take it like a man”.
-Sit back and enjoy the new experience.
-Give them a look that says to back off.
-Flat out ask them to move.
-Step away.

We often describe this space in a few ways:
-The invisible comfort zone
-Courtesy space
-Llama bubble (don’t believe me…Google it! lol)
-My space
-Arm’s length
-Personal Bubble (my all time favorite to use)

The personal bubble is roughly defined as a 1 foot radius that is yours and yours alone. People are supposed to wait to be invited into your bubble or they risk “popping it”.

Because kids often adore bubbles, I often found myself using this phrase as a teacher…and now I decided to try it out as a parent!


I figured, “Hey, she loves bubbles, she knows what it means to pop one…let’s give this a shot so maybe mommy can stop being climbed on 24/7!”

Here is how our conversation went:

“Sweetie do you like playing with bubbles?”

“Oh yes, their my favorite!”

“Well, what happens when you get too close to a bubble?”

“It pops….”

“That’s right! Well, did you know that people have a personal bubble?”

Confused face….

“A personal bubble is a space around us that is just for us.”

“Oh, how big is it? I can’t see…” (as she looks around for the bubble)

“It’s not an actual bubble sweetie, it’s just something we imagine is there. It is about an arm’s length all the way around us.”

“Oh okay…so…how do I get in your bubble without popping it?”

“All you have to do is ask before you go into someone’s bubble and if they say yes then you won’t be popping it.”

“Oh okay. Hey mommy….”

“Yes mam?”

“Can I come into your bubble?”

“You sure can!” (Huge smile because she got it!!)

Okay so at this point I am patting myself on the back!

Super mom in this corner! She totally gets it! I may actually be able to sit down for a few minutes without her on top of me!!


Doing my happy dance, happy dance, happy dance….


“NOOOOOO Daddy…you’re in my bubble!!!!” (Screamed loudly)

I calmly come back into the room to see what happened. Dad has walked by and decided to tickle her as he did…no big deal right? He does it all the time! Well apparently my Personal bubble speech back-fired!!

Now my four year old has decided that NO ONE (animals included) is allowed near her because they may and I quote here…

” Pop my bubble and I’m not good at blowing bubbles!!”


It is going on 3 hours and she is still “inside of her bubble”! I’m not sure if I did something good or bad here!

Again I say…I think I have created a monster!

Maybe I should have just kept it simple with just one rule:

That would be enough personal space right?!?

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