There are three basic personality types that develop in young children - passive, assertive and aggressive. Since passive personalities tend to be pushovers and aggressive personalities tend to be mean and overbearing, children who are assertive tend to develop healthier attitudes toward life. But do you know how you can actually teach your child how to be assertive without being overly aggressive or passive? Follow these tips and suggestions to give your child the skills they need to develop an assertive personality
- Monitor their television choices. Although there is a lot of controversy about the effect that television has on children, it certainly doesn't hurt to make sure they are watching programs appropriate for their age. Limit the number of violent television programs to a minimum (if any at all) and watch the shows with them so you know what they are seeing on a day-to-day basis.
- Practice what you're preaching. If you want to teach your child to be assertive instead of passive or aggressive, then you need to be an example of assertive behavior. Otherwise, how are they going to know how they should act? Show people respect and your child will learn how to treat others the same way. Also, don't allow their aggressive behavior in your home. Children learn how they should act by what they're taught at home. By discouraging aggressive behavior, they'll carry those skills with them outside the home, too.
- Teach your child to value himself or herself. One of the best ways to avoid having your child develop a passive personality is to teach them to value and respect themselves first. Allow them to express their opinions and express their wants, but also teach them that they don't always get what they want. From this, they'll have a better understanding of how to get their feelings across in an assertive and non-aggressive way.
- Teach them to accept criticism. Criticism is a part of life. That's why it's so important to take it and react in a positive way. Teaching your child to accept criticism when it's given to them will help them obtain a more assertive and productive personality. Also, teach them to give criticism in a polite and constructive manner.
- 5. Equip your children with keys for effective communication. Communication is the key to assertive behavior. But the communication must be effective and sincere. Here are some ways to begin your sentences in a conducive manner so you don't sound overly passive or too aggressive when conveying your feelings with others. I feel... Because... I would like... When you... How can we resolve this matter? What do you think?By using these words and phrases, you approach conversations or discussions while being non-confrontational. It also gives the other person a more comfortable atmosphere in which to express their feelings as well. Use these when communicating with your child and teach them to do the same when talking with others.
- Teach them to say "No". Some ages have no problem saying the word "no." But that's when they're little and are learning the power of the word. But learning when to use the word "no" is a great way to become assertive. Teach your children that they can say "no" to people when they should. This doesn't usually apply, of course, to people in places of authority, such as teachers and yourself. But when they're communicating with their friends and peers, the word "no" is often as acceptable as "yes."
- Encourage confidence, not arrogance. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. But teaching your child the difference and helping them gain confidence will put them on the road to being assertive. Teaching them to believe in themselves without being arrogant about their abilities or skills allows them to have a realistic self-image and recognize the skills and values of others around them.