Are you a “Yes” person or have you ever wished you’d said something, but didn’t?
This week we have been working on assertiveness with all our age groups.
Assertiveness is a valuable skill for success in children and adults alike; we will come across people with varying degrees of assertiveness in our life. The spectrum of assertiveness varies from Passive to Aggressive.
Throughout our lives we all experience situations where we have conducted ourselves in a Passive, Aggressive and Assertive manner. We may have felt, nervous, intimidated or defensive. The purpose of teaching Assertiveness Skills is to empower children to feel confident in themselves in all situations. Parents sometimes worry it will encourage bossiness or a demanding attitude, but these are both aggressive, NOT assertive communication. Assertiveness is communicating what you want in a confident manner. To communicate assertively means you can express your needs/ wants/ opinion confidently in any setting.
Assertiveness is communicating what you want in a confident manner.
As with any skill, the way we become good at it, is through practise. Let your child first practise familiar situations with you, then you can progress to another supportive adult figure (eg teacher, relative). Once they feel comfortable, you can give your child the opportunity to practise their skills in unfamiliar environments such as whilst shopping or other ‘safe’ environments with your support and encouragement. Your child will begin to develop confidence and their assertiveness skills and will eventually transfer these into their everyday lives (even when you are not around).
It is important to let kids know that there are situations when we ALL feel nervous or lack confidence. For older children or those with well developed skills, you can start to address and practise more difficult situations (eg speaking up about bullying behaviour). Teach them this trick to remember and assist in tricky situations; it’s the old adage “Fake it till you make it!” It will be easier to “fake” assertiveness in these uncomfortable situations if the skills are already embedded in their repertoire.
“Fake it till you make it!”
How would you describe your child? Passive, Assertive or Aggressive?
Your child can learn the essential skills to develop assertiveness and practise them in a supportive small group workshop with one of our Connected Education “Connected Kids Workshops”. For more information contact us or follow on our Facebook page for upcoming workshops in your area. We are always looking for new locations!