When it comes to building strong, resilient children it is important they know how to express their opinion and to say no when needed.
Not all children are born with the ability to shout out their ideas or lead a group, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.However, when it comes to building strong, resilient children, it is important they know how to stand up for their rights and beliefs, to express their opinion and to say no when needed.
Thankfully, there are things you can do help your child be a little more assertive.
However, it is important to note that it will take a bit of time and practice, but it will be worth it in the long-run.
1. Firstly, talk to them about boundaries
It is important your child understand what boundaries are. When you’re encouraging them to be assertive you don’t want them to come across as aggressive or rude, and sometimes there is a fine line between the two.
Talk to them about personal boundaries – space and touching – as well as how to behave in certain situations, e.g. at home, at school or in a public space.
2. Praise your child for being assertive
If you want to encourage your child to be assertive you have to acknowledge that they will be assertive towards you. And while you should applaud them for giving their opinion or sharing their feelings, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to give in to their every whim. It does, however, mean that you need to listen to them when they speak up and to respect their views and opinions.
3. Tell them they are important to you
Oftentimes a child can become more reserved and withdrawn because they don’t feel that their opinion is valuable or that they aren’t important. It is up to you to show them that they are important to you, that their thoughts and feelings do matter, and that it is OK to share them.
4. Respect their boundaries
If your child doesn’t want you to hug or kiss them, then you need to respect their wishes. Never force a hug or be mad/sad if you don’t get one. It is important your child knows that they can say no and for there not to be any consequences.
5. Be assertive
Your child learns more from what you do than what you say, so model assertiveness. Your child will look at you are their role model and it’s important you set a good example.