Teach children to be assertive in communication

Why are some children easily manipulated, deceived, or left disempowered by their peers? One of the reasons is their lack of assertiveness, which is the ability to express their opinions, desires and feelings directly, spontaneously, freely and honestly without harming themselves or violating the rights of others.

Anggia Chrisanti, counselor and therapist at the Westaria Psychological Counseling Office in Bandung, mentions that assertive behavior allows a person to respect their own rights and those of others, being active in pursuing what they want in life.

Anggia describes the characteristics of assertiveness in children as follows:

Feel free to express yourself.

Communicate effectively in an open, direct, honest and appropriate manner.

Have an active orientation in life to achieve your desires.

Assertive behavior allows a person to handle problems with peers, stand up for their own desires, and at the same time respect the rights of others.

Assertive behavior can be encouraged from an early age. This can be done by instilling awareness of what they want. As parents, we must ensure that their wishes can be fulfilled. For example, when a child is still a baby she expresses herself by crying. In those moments, we can say, “Oh, are you hungry? Let’s go eat something.”

To ensure continuous learning, we must always respond to their cries. Although they cannot speak yet, this method will be engraved in their memory.

For young children, encouraging assertive behavior is easier because they can communicate. When they throw tantrums, teach them to express their feelings. Understand their problems without getting carried away by emotions. Also, teach words like please, excuse me, sorry, and thank you.

There are five effective steps to encourage assertive behavior in children:

Lead by example.

Be a role model for your child. Show them how to respect opinions, reject ideas without hurting others, when to give in, and when to stand firm. In this way, children will learn to interact with others.

Always demanding that a child give in will prevent him from expressing her thoughts. On the contrary, constantly winning can lead to emotional upheaval when others around you cannot satisfy your needs or desires.

Provide full affection.

Affection turns children into self-confident people, closely linked to assertive behavior. Self-confident children find it easier to express their desires.

Teach independence.

One factor that increases confidence is the ability to care for oneself and meet personal needs. Allow children to learn to be independent from an early age. As parents, we facilitate this learning process. For example, allow him to bathe, dress, and choose his toys.

Encourage and enable decision making.

Children can learn to make decisions from small things. For example, letting them choose their food, clothes, toys, favorite color and more. Respect their choices. If it is not suitable, please provide a valid reason with wise explanations.

Teach self-respect.

Sharing with friends doesn’t mean giving up everything you have. Teach them the importance of self-respect. For example, if a friend doesn’t give you back your toy, encourage him to ask for it. Also, differentiate between “mom” belongings and “kid” belongings. Ask permission to use other people’s belongings. This teaches manners and helps children learn to respect personal boundaries.

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Dikategorikan dalam Parenting

Oleh Sinta

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