We scoop them up from behind without notice, in the name of play, and we routinely cross boundaries with children we would likely not do with an adult. Today I discovered my babysitter tickling my son. He was laughing yet saying, “Stop.” I have intervened in this before so today I took a moment and stood just outside the door and listened. She continued to tickle. He continued to giggle but say “stop” and his “stops” were getting more adamant and I could hear the mounting frustration build up. And since I know my son, I could also tell he was trying hard to denounce his feelings and to accept this situation. Anyway, she did not stop; in fact she began a debate by asking him “why are you laughing if you don’t like it?” He didn’t know how to answer. He is four.
And by the way, if disrespecting a child’s body boundaries through corporal punishment at one end of the spectrum, or even frequent less overt occurrences of disrespect become customary for a child, they will over time, learn to ignore their own instincts and relinquish their own power and control. Or they will likely become bullies.