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Assertiveness is closely linked with self-esteem. Children from a very young age fear being rejected or criticized, something that will sometimes make them shut up when they want to talk.
When children begin to listen, the first thing we want is for them to learn to follow orders and follow instructions, but parents often forget the most important thing: children must be taught to learn to speak and express themselves.
Children who know how to make their needs known are more likely to have better self-esteem, to have better communication skills and also, when they know how to express their emotions and preferences, they can better resist peer pressure. They can ask for help when they need it, they can say no when they don't want to say yes, and they will begin to feel confident in themselves, which is essential for a child to learn to be assertive.
For many children, assertiveness is a learned behavior so it has nothing to do with something innate. To be assertive you need to practice it every day. And the best place to practice the skills that are most difficult in the outside world is in the safety and understanding of your own home.
1. Be a model of assertiveness. You are the example and the role model of your children, so your child will copy and learn from you absolutely everything. Defend your points of view without getting aggressive. Also let your children express their opinions even if you may feel uncomfortable, but do not expect your child to be assertive if you are not assertive first.
2. Live in a democratic home. Talk to your children about everything that is necessary, hold discussions. Hold family meetings and listen to the opinion of each child. Remember that listening to and respecting their opinions does not mean that you have to agree with their points of view. When children are able to speak up, they will be more likely to speak up and feel comfortable speaking up for themselves. The best place for children to learn to speak assertively is at home, so make sure your children have the opportunity to speak and be heard.
3. Talk about rights with children. Children need to know that their opinions are valued and that they have the right to speak their minds. Sit down with your child and create a list of children's rights, you can start with the basics; 'You have the right to say no', 'You have the right to be angry', 'You have the right to feel and express anger', etc. Encourage your child to add things to the list and create a royalty poster for their room. This way you will feel more motivated to be able to express your emotions correctly.
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