From the Archives is a series created in tandem with new PIO! Editor Brigid Finucane. We share songs from the extensive archives here at CMN by our own, wonderful members. The song is by member Peter Alsop.
This song was released in 1983 and has saved a number of children’s lives! Whoa! Our children need to understand that they are the stewards of their own bodies.
In many child abuse cases the children do not realize that they have the right to say “NO!” or to ask for help. Kids in these situations rarely talk about it and often feel too guilty or ashamed to bring it up.
This song may open doors for kids who have no one else to talk to about their problems. Trust in your own sensitivity and get some support. As teachers we want to be a safe place for kids to discuss ANYTHING. If we send the message that we only want to hear “okay” things from kids, we may shut out a child who needs to talk to us about something that is not “okay.” The original lyrics can provide “teachable moments” to talk about what is appropriate and what is not:
“It’s not okay to pick our nose in front of other people, so what else could we do? Go in the other room? Get a tissue? Turn in the other direction?”
We can also help younger kids understand the phrase “run your own body” by asking them to “put your hand on your heart and feel it ‘running.’ If you close your eyes, can you hear your blood ‘running’ through your veins.”
We want kids to be connected to their own feelings in the present. Knowing how we feel, having a healthy “feelings vocabulary” is the EARLY WARNING SYSTEM that will help kids protect themselves against abuse. Alternative lyrics are provided for those not comfortable mentioning “nose picking or “spitting.”
ALTERNATIVE VERSES for kids:
My nose was made to sniff and to sneeze
To smell what I want, and to blow when I please!
My mouth was made to blow-up a balloon
I can eat, kiss and sing, I can whistle a tune!
My legs are made to dance me around
To walk and to run and to jump upside down
Your body loves to pedal a bike
Our bodies do whatever they like
When I am touched I know how I feel
My feelings are mine, my feelings are real
This is my body, it’s one of a kind
I’ve got to take care of this body of mine!
For lyrics and music click here: MyBody-piano
This song is available on Wha’D’Ya Wanna Do? , you can get that album and all the others on Peter’s website.
Peter Alsop is a nationally known singer-songwriter, educator and humorist with a Ph.D. in educational psychology. He graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut and did his doctoral work at Columbia University’s Teachers’ College and Columbia Pacific University. He’s worked as the Director of The Harbor Schools Residential Treatment Center for emotionally disturbed adolescents in Maine and as a Junior Guidance elementary school teacher in New York’s South Bronx. His twenty-five audio recordings and seven DVDs consistently win “Best Children’s” awards from organizations such as Parents’ Choice and the Association For Independent Music. His songs are used daily by thousands of parents, educators and human service professionals to help families discuss sensitive issues such as child abuse, loss & grief and chemical dependency. He’s acted on stage and television, directed a feature film, and he performs extensively at conferences, festivals and concerts throughout the United States and Canada as well as hosting annual training workshops at his Otter Space Conference Center in northern California. He lives in Topanga, CA with his wife, actress/director Ellen Geer.