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Tools for healthy assertive responses?

Posted by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 10:30 PM
  • 7 Replies

Another post got me thinking about how to teach our children to stand up for themselves in a healthy positive way. It seems to me that a lot of parents don't know a middle ground. I see posts that are only discussing extremes like either the child is cowering in a corner from fear or they are decking every kid that looks at them wrong. There is a way to teach your child to be assertive using words and other nonviolent tools. I thought this would be a good forum to hear other's opinions of how you teach your child to stand up.

My dd knows to first use words don't just run to the teacher for help immediately. So she will first say I don't like that or please stop doing that etc Second if the annoying behavior whatever it is continues then she is to walk away. If followed I tell her to use words once more and this time say please stop I dont like that if you dont stop I am going to tell the teacher. Something to that effect. and then the next step would be to go to the teacher. I also encourage her to stand up for her friends or others if they are bullied and to never join in with bullying. The only time and this is the absolutely only time that any form of physical confrontation would be appropriate is if it was in self defense of physical harm and that if she does the other steps first then more than likely it should never escalate to that. I am not naive enough to think that this is how she will handle situations everytime but at least I know I have given her the tools and hopefully she will use them if need be.

 

by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 10:30 PM
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Replies (1-7):
MJP76
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 10:46 PM

My children have always been typically liked by everyone, but my daughter in the  5th grade had an incident with a bully.

the girl tripped her on the school bus, and told her she was going to kick her ass the next day. My daughter told the bus driver and nothing was done, she came home in tears. So I showed her how to defend herself, but I told her to "use her words first" 

when she got on the bus the next day, the little brat "threatened" her again. My daughter simply said. 

"That's cool, you may start it, but I promise you I will finish it" and she smiled at her just like I told her to. That brat didn't bother her since that day.


My children, have always been, loving, kindhearted and helpful, I've actually had to teach them to not let people walk on the because they are just that nice.

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Feb. 2, 2013 at 2:45 AM

Part of the issue is that we tell children to use words, but we don't tell them the words to use. 

Roll playing really helps with this. By practicing different situations you can no only give kids suggestions of what to say, you can also demonstrate how important body language and tone of voice are. 

A meek, "Please stop," isn't going to get the same response as a a firm, "Leave me alone!" with direct eye contact.  

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Feb. 2, 2013 at 2:51 AM

I also make sure my kids know the power of the dismissive eye roll. It's amazing how many issues disappear when the response is complete disinterest. If children respond to bullying by making it clear it doesn't bother it there's no reason for it to continue.

Unfortunately they've been trained to rush to adult and get saved immediately. That sends the other child a clear message that what they did was effective in having the negative reaction they were going for. That leads to a successful bully going out of his or her way to be meaner and sneakier about it the next time, in stead of a kid with no reason to bother messing with you again. 

I know the old saying about stick and stones has been vilified. But kids with that attitude do not get picked on very often. 

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Feb. 2, 2013 at 12:51 PM
1 mom liked this

Bumping

This is a topic worthy of discussion. 

MsLogansMommy
by Bronze Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:43 PM

I understand how parents don't want their kids to be bullied but we need to stop encouraging violence because that is a gateway to becoming a bully. There seems to be a mentality that its okay if "my" kid hits someone then no one will think my kid is a push over or weak but if someone hits "my" kid then im going to raise hell. Where do you think bullys learn the behavior we not only need to tell our kids about non violent means of standing up for themselves but we need to model it as well.

Look at Bill Gates do you think he was a bad ass in school probably not but he's a bad ass in business and that is where the real power is. Teach kids to use their brains not their brawn.

UpstateAnnette
by Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 4:16 PM

I think we should teach kids to stand up for themselves verbally.  I think it is the "Parenting With Love and Logic" that had some good techniques for adults to teach their kids how to manage bullies.  I also like the plan to teach my kids to 1.Tell the bully to cut it out, loud and assertively enough that if an adult happens to be in earshot they will hear, For instance "Stop poking me now!"   2. Tell an adult and 3. If the bullying is ongoing and the adults around are not able to get it to stop then punch them in the nose hard.    Violence is not the first response but is appropriately to use if steps 1 and 2 fail.  Bullies thrive on being told on and then sneaking around the adults to continue to attack their victims, they get off on it, so often adult intervention(telling little Jonny to stop picking on little Jimmy) only makes the bullying esculate.   That is the time when the child needs to make it clear to the bully that further  bullying will not be tolerated.  

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Feb. 3, 2013 at 4:23 PM


Quoting UpstateAnnette:

I think we should teach kids to stand up for themselves verbally.  I think it is the "Parenting With Love and Logic" that had some good techniques for adults to teach their kids how to manage bullies.  I also like the plan to teach my kids to 1.Tell the bully to cut it out, loud and assertively enough that if an adult happens to be in earshot they will hear, For instance "Stop poking me now!"   2. Tell an adult and 3. If the bullying is ongoing and the adults around are not able to get it to stop then punch them in the nose hard.    Violence is not the first response but is appropriately to use if steps 1 and 2 fail.  Bullies thrive on being told on and then sneaking around the adults to continue to attack their victims, they get off on it, so often adult intervention(telling little Jonny to stop picking on little Jimmy) only makes the bullying esculate.   That is the time when the child needs to make it clear to the bully that further  bullying will not be tolerated.  

I'm so glad the first step is to tell the bully to stop. 

It's a real problem that so many kids go right to an adult without even trying to work things out with the other child. Then the other child is angry at the first for trying to get him in trouble and it just spirals from there. 

More often than not kids can work things out on their own. But they've stopped trying to and we've stopped letting them. 

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