We all want assertive kids. We all want polite kids. We all want kids with great self esteem and a high confidence level. I am sure no one is on the fence here. Where the lines get blurred, is how to raise an assertive child, to teach them to get their needs met, without being obnoxious and rude. Here are five tips to raise assertive children that can stand up for themselves and are not rude.
Be the Role Model
Your children will copy you. So, if you want them to have integrity and assertiveness, model good behavior. Don’t be weak, your children will see it. Stand up for your beliefs and views, even if it means going against the grain. You have to explain to them that standing up for what they believe in may feel uncomfortable or strange, but it is the right way to go… to stand up for their own rights, and the rights of others.
Praise Your Children
Let your kids know that you value people who speak their mind. Positively reinforce their actions if they displayed good behavior, for example, “Jenny, I love how you spoke up for yourself when Tyler was being mean to you.” When you show your children you value and honor this type of behavior, they will better assert themselves.
Find Less Domineering Friends for Your Kids
If your child has the tendency to be a shyer, less assertive type, and seems to cling to a bossy and domineering friend, give him the opportunity and expose him to a less domineering friend. Not everyone may agree, but it has been proven to be a confidence booster if their spirit is not constantly being squashed by the aggressive playmate. Being around a less domineering friend may teach and encourage your child to speak up a little more.
New studies show that kids gain confidence by entering into individual sports, team sports, activities, extra-curricular activities, group projects etc. And the key factor behind it is… the earlier the better. So provide opportunities for your children to be a member of a team, or even the team captain. Encourage them to take charge of a project or even organize the schoolyard soccer game. There are other programs you can expose your children to such as public speaking, singing, acting classes, where they can demonstrate overt kinds of leadership. These have all been proven to boost confidence.
Teach The C.A.L.M. Assertion
Here are four steps that help kids stand up and speak up for themselves or others if verbally attacked. Here are the four steps to C.A.L.M.
C – Stay Cool. If you get upset, ticked off, cry, pout you don’t appear as confident.
A – Assert yourself. Teach your child a few comeback lines to say in different situations.
L – Look the person in the eye. The best way to appear more confident is by using eye contact.
M – Mean it. Teach your child the difference between how an insecure and a strong voice sound. Then encourage your child to assert himself using a strong and firm tone–but not yelling tone–to get his point across.
About the Author
With 18 years sales experience, and 14 years marketing experience, Erica Diamond was a born entrepreneur. After using a small savings from her first job as a Marketing Manager for a large corporation, Erica started Unique Corporate Gifts at 24 years old, a promotional products company, and sold it three years ago to Canada’s Largest Bag Retail Chain. Her ongoing volunteer work never tires her and she loves everything women, business and entrepreneurship related. She is a board member of her son’s school, has written three children’s books, and recently completed a television show that she is currently shopping around. Erica is a wife and mother of two young boys. Erica writes her own Blog, Women on the Fence gives Sales and Marketing Conferences for Entrepreneurs and young businesses, speaks publicly, and mentors other entrepreneurs.