Both of us might be right in our own ways but sometimes at the root of our disagreements – especially on raising children – are the conditionings and cultural cues that our upbringing and environment have ingrained into us.
Is your kid polite or a pushover?
Having a polite kid is a dream of every parent. But what if your sweet kid doesn’t know to stand up for her rights or the rights of others?
Parenting methods have taken a serious modern turn. You can get answers to almost any of your parenting mystery from a professional expert or from a parent’s experience. This reassures that you are not alone struggling in the parenting journey. While the strategies are being modernized, the ultimate goal of every parent remains to be the same. The expectation of raising a kind well- behaved kid is carried across generations. But,
As kids want to be involved in all aspects of play they seek out ways to fit in. But given the choice does your kid choose to remain silent to avoid problems rather expressing his thoughts in the little snatch of lego world? Possibly your child has crossed the boundary of being polite and now he is in the pushover zone.
What does it mean to be a pushover ?
Your child can be pushed to agree on something easily. Pushover kids don’t know to be tougher. From sharing a toy to agreeing on an opinion pushover kids defer their choices to avoid confrontation with other children. They can easily take a step back allowing the more aggressive children to have their way. While avoiding the problems isn’t always a bad idea, pushover kids will be eventually targeted by bullies or taken advantage of by other children.
How to raise your kid polite and kind yet not to be a pushover:
Your friends and neighbors are already raving about how sweet and well behaved your kid is except you are secretly worrying that your child doesn’t know to stick up for herself. Not to mention, most of the times you see yourself speaking up for your kid.
The more your kids see you as rescuers the more your kid relies on you to solve her problems. While you can’t live your child’s social life for her, there are some things you can do to help them remain kind but not taken for granted. To help your kid to stand up for their rights and defend themselves teach them how to be assertive so they can speak up and defend themselves. Practicing these ways helps your kid to gain confidence and be assertive.
Encourage your kids to speak their minds:
Kids love to be heard. They want to be understood by everyone, especially parents. But there are these rush moments mostly you step in to help them with an answer or elaborate on a question, anything to avoid sitting in the silence. Silence in uncomfortable but kids needs their own time and space to let out their feelings through words.
- Never guide them with answers before they talk.
- Ask open-ended questions and wait until you get a response. This way your kid knows you are listening and eventually he gains the confidence to speak his mind to you.
- Most importantly, do not load your kids with advice when they finally open them to you. Instead, listen to them and sit with their feelings. Try to relate yourself with your kid and commiserate about how that must have made them feel.
- Use sentences like “That must have been so hard”,” I can Imagine”, “I know that must have made you angry” which would help to continue the conversation.
Create situations for open communication:
Kids mirror parent’s behaviors. While discussing a topic or handling a conflict in the home make sure you do it gently and express your feelings. If it is a family topic in which kids can be included ask their opinion.
Encourage your kids to express what they feel. Hold simple debates or family meetings on interesting topics and hear every kid’s opinion. Give chance to all the kids in your household. Make them feel the power of letting out the feelings.
When they know their opinions count they are likely to be more open than you expected. Create the comfort zone and give chances to speak up and be heard. Encourage your child to assert himself using a firm and strong tone but not the yelling to get his point across.
Now your kid is comfortable enough to express his ideas and opinions so what next? Reinforce that behavior and let her know you honor her opinions. Let your child know that you value people who speak their mind. Encourage their assertiveness by using sentences like ” I like how you spoke up”, “It was clear to the point yet gentle”. Teach your child to act confident, hold her head up, stand up straight and most importantly make eye contact.
Whoa! Parents, Please Step Back:
Pushover kids usually see their parents as rescuers because you have already started speaking up for them. You might think you’re keenly self-aware and never stepped into your kid’s problems, but parenthood has a way of muddling details. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if you are living your kid’s social life and often rescuing him from most of the problems.
- Does your kid expect you to step in and speak up for himself even it’s a silly toy snatch?
- Do you say sorry for your kid’s behavior and never talk about that later to your kid?
- Do you make sure your child never struggles, fails or feels pain or disappointment?
If you had answered “yes” to one or more of these questions then its time you need to step back and let your kids face the tough times and speak up for them. It can be hard to stay out of the way when your kid has to face some domineering friends. But, see the greater good, you are teaching him to advocate for himself. If you want to raise an assertive kid then absolutely you should resist the temptation to solve their problems.
Teaching children to be assertive and confident with compassion is the key. Make them realize they don’t want to be mean or hurtful in order to stand up for what they believe even if it is unpopular.
Ensure them speaking with firm and strong tone is more powerful than acting out. The ultimate goal of having a well-behaved child with the combination of assertiveness and confidence can be achieved only if they respect themselves and their feelings first.
So, have you thought about how you can teach kid around you to stand up for themselves ?