Children's assertiveness

Most of us need autonomy and independence. Both adults and toddlers want to decide what to do or not to do. However, a toddler's rebellion can be a surprise for parents and causes them anxiety. Keep calm. This is a normal stage in a baby's development. If we can't stand it, take comfort to the thought that there is a good chance that our loudly protesting children will grow up to be independent, self-confident people in the future. Let us be flexible - let us not force our bans, except when it comes to the child's safety. In other cases, try to be firm, but in a warm and friendly manner. Joanna Kruszyńska-Buryta, a psychologist (our expert at the forum), speaks about the assertiveness of the youngest.

See the video: "How to be Assertive?"

1. Orders and prohibitions

Children, especially teenagers, just like adults, hate orders and demands. At the words: "Do this or that", "Do, because I say so", "Do not shout, be silent, get up, sit, get up, come here", in each and every one of them, opposition and rebellion arise, because no one wants to be they were commanded, imposed, and required to do things unopposed. That is why children and teenagers are rebelling. The more orders, and with opposition to penalties and prohibitions, the more misunderstandings, conflicts and rebellion, and less room for the realization of the second important need - cooperation.

Children really want to help their parents, they will do everything for them out of love, they will swallow every pain and discomfort, just to please their loved ones. If only their parents give them such an opportunity. Cooperation is born of the freedom of choice, the inner need to enrich the life of another person, the joy of giving. If a child is coerced, if he has no choice, if he feels guilty, where is the joy of giving out of free will? In the world of duty, coercion and over-responsibility, there is no room for cooperation.

2. Partnership in the family

A parent who demands and demands, rather than asks and encourages, awakens the child's natural will to fight for independence and autonomy, while disrupting the important need for partnership. If we want our children to cooperate with us, we ourselves must cooperate with them. Taking care of their autonomy, the right to choose and independence through the readiness to accept a refusal, listen to their needs and emotions, we have a better chance of working out a common solution to the problem and joint responsibility for its result. Cooperation also means that we can share our emotions and needs with our children. Children will be happy to help us, as long as they do not need it themselves.

It is worth remembering that behind every "no" of our child there is a very important need that he or she wants to meet at the moment. By getting to know her, we can change our expectations and requests that our offspring will be able to fulfill willingly. Conversely, by refusing our child and talking about their needs that are being realized, we have a chance to teach them to accept the refusal and look for other strategies to fulfill their desires.

Joanna Kruszyńska-Buryta, psychologist

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