In a world with so many challenges to deal with, one of the best gifts you can give to your child is training on assertiveness. Wikipedia defines assertiveness as the quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. Your child will be exposed to many circumstances — some good and others bad. Your child will need to navigate through each of them and hopefully emerge a better person.
Don’t assume that this is a lesson best left for when your child is older. As early as age 2, your child will be bombarded by situations in which he or she will need to be firm but polite. The story in the following post explains a real-life situation:
Raising an Assertive Child
During my recent trip home to New York, I found myself cringing on a few occasions when my two-year-old daughter and I were with my friends and their children. The scenarios were similar in all cases, but the characters were different. Child A would forcefully take an object from child B leading to a tug-of-war which would end with one or both of the children erupting into tears. In cases when my daughter was the instigator, I had no problem interjecting to explain to her how such aggression can hurt people’s feelings, why she should try to use her words, and how she could resolve the situation.
When my daughter was on the receiving end of the aggression, however, I struggled with how to react. On the one hand, I wanted my daughter to stick up for herself, but on the other hand, my empathetic side kicked in and I found myself asking her to be patient with her friend and to let them have the object in question until they were ready to share it. Read more at CSA…
Whenever you witness your child confronted by a conflict, how you react or respond will either train them to be assertive or deny them the opportunity to flex their assertive muscle.
Interestingly, children often do what they see adults doing, more than what they are told to do. So if you want to train your child to be assertive, he or she must see it in you, as the following post describes:
So how do we show our children how to be assertive? There are 3 simple steps:
We need to model assertiveness in our own communications – all the time.
Clearly and politely stating what we want and need. Children watch us all the time. So instead of muttering your partner is a lazy so and so and why do you have to do ALL the work around the house, rather than slamming doors or sulking communicate assertively instead. Let your children hear you speak clearly, calmly and confidently about the problem with a suggestion for how it could improve to your liking. Read more at Emotionally Healthy Kids…
Show assertiveness in how you relate to others. You also need to display assertiveness in the way you handle him or her as the child. Your son or daughter should know that if mummy or daddy say no, they mean it.
There are obvious challenges that may hinder your child from being assertive. Identifying and addressing them will enable your child to overcome them. The following post describes some of them and how to deal with them:
As parents, we tread a fine line: we want our kids to be able to stand up for themselves and others, to ask for help and voice their opinions. But we also don’t want them to be aggressive, pushy, or bossy.
It’s tricky to balance the two, and some kids struggle more than others with asserting themselves. Why is that? I’ve found a few contributing factors:
- Your child might not understand what another child is saying. Maybe they don’t know what they’re supposed to do, or what’s expected of them.
- Fear of doing something wrong. Many kids keep quiet when they don’t or shouldn’t have to because they’re afraid of making mistakes.
- Avoiding attention. Not all kids want attention, and some see assertion as drawing too much attention to themselves.
Lack of experience. Kids, especially those who’ve only dealt with adults, may never have had to assert themselves or make their own case before. Read more at Sleeping Should Be Easy…
Helping your child to find the balance between being assertive and aggressive is a process that will take time, but will eventually be worth it. Your child will thank you later, and you will be glad you trained him to be so.
Your efforts to train your child to be assertive should be reinforced in school. This means that you need to choose your child’s preschool carefully.
Spanish for Fun is a preschool dedicated to providing high-quality education for every child. Ours is a Spanish-immersion program where children have the opportunity to learn the Spanish language and culture, as well as other foundational studies. We also have teachers who are specially trained to handle children with tender loving care and assertiveness.
We have awesome programs that can accommodate your needs. One of them is Parent and Me, where your child can transition into the preschool world with you by their side. We have lots of fun as we learn, and you can be sure your child will love the experience.
Spanish for fun! combines the loving care your child needs with Spanish language education, cultural learning and lots of fun. Get in touch with us today to schedule a tour of our Cary campus. Call 919-677-7114 or complete the form on our website and we’ll contact you. We look forward to showing you why your child will thrive with us.