It is every parent's wish to raise a confident and assertive child who is not afraid to express themselves. Teaching your child to always speak what's on their mind will is an important skill both in their childhood and adulthood.

Here are simple ways to help your child to be assertive and remain respectful at the same time.

Don't judge them

Your child will find it difficult to speak once they realise you are judging them. Therefore, avoid saying anything that could come off as judgmental when your child is talking to you about something that is bothering them.

Instead, acknowledge that you understand what your child is saying. This will increase their confidence to speak up always.

Photo by Sebastián León Prado / Unsplash

Avoid labelling your child

Your child will most likely assume the identity you give them and this may hinder them from developing confidence. For example if you keep telling your child that they are cowards, they may end up succumbing to fear. Be supportive of your child and avoid comparing them with their peers.

SEE ALSO;5 children's mental illnesses that parents should know about

Help your child develop personal opinions

Encourage your child to always give their opinion on issues no matter how others may view them. Also, teach them to back their opinions with adequate and relevant information. Make sure that they know how to express themselves respectfully.

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Have time for thoughtful discussions

Create time from your busy schedule each day to have a thoughtful and meaningful conversation with your child. Ask what your child thinks on the different topics and give quality time for the child to think and answer as you carefully listen. Ask open-ended questions that will prompt your child to think and speak up about what's on their mind.

Give your child choices

Giving your child the freedom to choose between different things will also build their confidence ad ability to express themselves.  Your child will also develop the ability to know what best suits them in different situations.

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Lead by example

Leading by example is the best way to show your child that there is no harm in speaking up one's mind. Use the little random moments you spend with your child to model assertiveness from the way you behave.

This African-American father was shown in the process of teaching his young daughter how to properly wash her hands at their kitchen sink, briskly rubbing her soapy hands together under fresh running tap water, in order to remove germs, and contaminants, thereby, reducing the spread of pathogens, and the ingestion of environmental chemicals or toxins. Children are taught to recite the Happy Birthday song, during hand washing, allotting enough time to completely clean their hands.
Photo by CDC / Unsplash

In a nutshell…

Everyone is entitled to a personal opinion and your child is no exception.  Helping your child strengthen and express their personal opinions will go a long way in building assertiveness and personal identity.

This August, Parents Magazine presents yet another compelling issue!
On this issue, LSK chairperson Nelson Havi and his wife Felicine let us in to the home front and open up on life in the public eye among other stories that you don’t want to miss.