6 Ways to Teach kids to Stand up for Themselves

March 21, 2020

 

The most frequently asked question from parents is how to teach their kids to stand up for themselves.

 

As impossible as it may sound but the truth is we as parents need to teach our children how to stand up for themselves, and how to handle bullies, because we can’t possibly accompany our children everywhere in the world.

 

I know I know, for some kids, standing up for oneself is a nightmare.

However, on the other hand, there are some kids, who even though can stand up for themselves, but have issues responding in a calm and non-threatening way.

 

Being assertive isn’t everyone’s cup of tea,

 

Hence, in this post, I am sharing some real advice that has come straight from none other than my own counsellor.

 

1. Don’t push

 

While it’s good to counsel your kids to speak for themselves, but don’t push kids into doing something they are not comfortable with.

 

It’s okay for kids do things at their own pace, keep on encouraging them, but don’t push or threaten them.

 

Let kids know you believe in them and you think they are capable of speaking up for themselves, even if it takes long.

 

2. Don’t meddle in kids affairs unnecessarily

 

When you meddle too much in your kids affairs, it automatically sends a signal that you don’t trust your child handling a situation on their own. Hence, it’s not recommended to interfere in your child’s disputes with other kids unnecessarily.

 

When kids handle disputes on their own it gives them the opportunity to practice social skills such as negotiating and reasoning.

 

3. Be there and just listen

 

Whenever your child comes up with a dispute the first thing you should do is just listen and provide your child with your undivided attention. At this point avoid offering any advice, just focus on listening and acknowledging their issues.

 

Often, kids just need a listening ear, and not an advice, this promotes independence in kids and help them come up with the solution on their own.

 

4. Offer advice only if they ask for it

 

Once you are done with the listening part. And it’s pretty clear that they need an advice or looking for an answer.

 

Then, at this point ask them if they would like your advice? Once you are given the green signal, help your child identify the issue, and talk about its possible solutions.

 

For e.g. help your child think of polite ways to talk to another child about the problem or overcome an issue.

 

5. Make them Practice

 

If your child is feeling jittery about speaking up, then being a parent you can practice him/her the scenario. Help them prepare for different reactions the person might show with whom your child is dealing with.  

 

When your child is prepared beforehand, and is prepared for the reaction, it will make him/her more confident when the real and difficult situation occurs.

 

2. Be a great role model for your child

 

If you want to raise confident kids, you have got to be a great role model for them. Without a parent being a great role model, it’s difficult to raise assertive kids.

 

The bottom line is act the way you would want your children to act when dealing with bullies.

 

What most parents fail to realise is that a great place to practice standing up for themselves is their house. Parents should let their children know that their opinion matters, let them have a say in family matters, even if you don’t agree with it.

 

Let their voice be heard, have more friendly family debates and discussion in the house related to current affairs.

 

Family debates are a great way to demonstrate how a person can respectfully disagree with another person’s opinion while having a voice and a different opinion of their own on the topic.

 

 

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