Let Your Kids Say No! (Teaching Assertive Language Skills)



Do you let your children say No? 

I don't mean do you let them "get away" with things?  I mean, do you allow them to disagree with you without getting angry, judging, shaming or blaming them? 

If you aren't sure, think about how often you...
  • defend your limits by arguing until your child sees it your way, instead of allowing him/her to have a different point of view
  • run interference between family members to avoid conflict
  •  mediate disagreements between your kids or their peers by telling them what to do

Do you say things such as..."You will not say "No" to me. I made my decision."
"If you cannot play with the toy together, then no one plays with it."
"Now, give your sister a hug and a kiss, and tell her you're sorry."
 

Showing compassion and respect for the feelings and perspective of another person are important skills to model when teaching children assertive language skills. It paves the way for them to learn to peacefully resolve conflict.
 

However, we often demand those skills while depriving children of the very respect and compassion we expect.

When kids are allowed to speak their minds without fear of being punished, mocked or shamed, they learn to adapt their behaviors in response to the authentic feedback they receive from others - instead of out of apathy, fear or guilt.   

Controlling the outcome (your way or the highway) doesn't give kids the practice they need to make those important neural connections which will support them in meeting your expectations of behavior.

If we rush in with our opinions and directions, kids grow to rely on us (or others) rather than learning to use their voice to change their own situation, make requests or protect themselves.

Demanding and directing kids for the sake of convenience (or your sanity) may bring temporary relief, but ultimately it is an exhausting, uphill struggle for peace. Your peace should not come at the expense of someone's sense of self, but often it does because we find ourselves without the tools to make different choices.

Forcing, controlling, and dictating the actions of others are easy fall-backs. You are stressed and needing cooperation. Honor this core need in yourself, and then practice tools for mindfulness to slow down your brain and body with some deep breath awareness. 


Watch this episode of TEACHable Moments where I share my top tips for teaching assertive language skills to kids.



Teaching kids assertive language skills requires allowing them to assert themselves. Tweet It!

Kids learn best when they can be involved in making choices about the things which affect them - without our opinion and judgments clouding the feedback. 

They are prompted to be compassionate, thoughtful and pro-active when we allow them to experience natural consequences with dignity.

What about you... do you direct more than you connect? Can you think of a time (or ten) when you have pushed back against your child's dissent?

What were you really needing and how could you have done it differently? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments.


Until next time, remember it's about consciousness, not perfection. Have a great week!

Warmly,




LIKE what you see? SHARE it with someone you LOVE!
If you don't see the comments, try switching from mobile to desktop view.
When you let go of judgment, you can let go of the anger. - See more at: http://mamablog.teach-through-love.com/2014/04/can-you-stay-calm-when-your-child-isnt.html#sthash.46UPc1No.dpuf
When you let go of judgment, you can let go of the anger. - See more at: http://mamablog.teach-through-love.com/2014/04/can-you-stay-calm-when-your-child-isnt.html#sthash.46UPc1No.dpuf

About Lori