Teaching Respectful Self Advocacy to Your Child

How do you teach self advocacy to your child? Teaching your child to stand for himself is vital, here are practical steps that you can follow.

Many people regret not speaking up or expressing their ideas and feelings at the time. I’ve often uttered “yes” when I really meant to say “no.” You may have been unable to respond to someone’s rudeness or when they made a comment that made you feel uncomfortable. 

Adults and children alike must work on developing the ability to stand up for their own interests and needs. We want to raise polite and considerate children to others, but we also want them to be able to stand for what they believe is right for themselves.

Create a safe haven for yourself and your loved ones.

Allowing your child to express their thoughts and make decisions increases their self-esteem and character. I often hear the following: “It’s not that bad,” or “You don’t need to cry about it.” 

Ask them these instead: “How did it make you feel?” o“What does help mean to you right now?” Once they feel at ease enough to do so, they start to trust their inner voice and become more confident enough to say what they need and deserve.

Explain what body language is and have tough conversations.

You’ve already begun to speak out for yourself even before you say anything. According to his basketball coach, my son must “play large” in order to succeed. He’s instructing them to take up space and play with conviction by directing them to stand tall and erect.

To assist our children in developing a sense of self-confidence, we need to model this conduct. Ground your feet in the dirt and keep your eyes on the ground when speaking to your youngsters. You can use role-playing to help your kids feel more confident in speaking out for themselves at home.

Think aloud.

Your kids will look up to you if you show them how to make decisions that have minimal stakes. If your matcha tea order is incorrect, you may say: “This is almond milk, rather than the requested soy milk. I can either drink it or go inside and ask the barista to prepare a new one for me. To this question, the answer is an absolute yes. Of course, this means that my tea will be less enjoyable.” 

While it is important to stand up for one’s own rights, it is equally important to recognize and respect those of others. You can teach your children and yourself a lot by finding and modeling the sweet spot.

How children can express their desires and needs:

  • “The way you are speaking to me is making me uncomfortable.”
  • “I’ve made the decision to walk away.”
  • “I’m sad when you…”
  • “It frustrates me when…”

These are just some of the good ways how you can teach your child self advocacy.

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