Tips on How To Raise an Assertive and Respectful Daughter
If you want to raise strong and confident daughter, teaching assertiveness is key. Assertive daughters know how to stand up for themselves (and others) without being hurtful or mean.
A strong, healthy communication style can be great for any child to learn. Being assertive is a good skill to learn, as it can help you express your thoughts and feelings to others, both positively and negatively.
But assertiveness can be even more important and challenging for girls. Society has made a lot of progress, but studies show that women still face some double standards. While men are admired for being outspoken in the workplace, women are more likely to be seen as unlikeable or abrasive.
A few simple strategies for teaching your child to be assertive involve practicing active listening and helping them develop emotional intelligence.
As a parent, you can help your child walk the line between being too bossy and being too passive. Try these tips to help your daughter become assertive and respectful:
Building Confidence for Your Assertive Daughter:
1. Understand the needs of your child.
Self-awareness is the first lesson to give your child. Before they can communicate with others, they have to know and accept themselves.
Through conversation, expressing their emotions, and reading books and magazines together, you’ll help them learn to express themselves well. Try to talk about their feelings and values regularly.
2. Advocate for independence.
Encourage her independence. Be there for support but let her try to speak up for herself. She’ll be more prepared to deal with peer pressure now and adult dilemmas later.
3. Ask instead of telling.
Although many kids enjoy an afternoon trip to the park, your child might not. Telling your child that the park is enjoyable, removes the opportunity for them to assert their own opinion.
If you ask them how they feel and treat their answer with respect, they can gain the confidence to share their opinion.
4. Take risks.
Praise your daughter for showing courage and learning from experience. Coach her through the process of evaluating the pros and cons and dealing with the consequences.
5. Be authentic.
Help her to feel valued and important. Notice her talents and achievements. Spend one-on-one time with her, sharing her interests and discussing her goals.
6. Think positive.
A cheerful outlook will make your daughter stronger and more resilient. Remind each other about how much you have to be grateful for. Enjoy family dinners and doing volunteer work together as a family.
Showing Consideration and Respect for Others:
1. Practice active listening.
Active listening means giving your undivided attention to your child and noticing as much as you can about what they’re trying to communicate.
Assertiveness is having regard for others as well as yourself, and that starts with listening skills. Take turns reading books to each other and discussing the details. Turn off your phone, so you can spend more time engaging in face-to-face conversations.
2. Cultivate Patience.
What appears to be rude behavior may simply be your child’s difficulty with waiting or their being impatient. Make rules for your kids, like no talking when you’re on the phone. You can discuss the advantages of deferring gratification with them as they grow older.
3. Work as a Team.
Promote cooperation and collaboration at home. Give your child age-appropriate tasks and invite them to participate in family decisions.
In addition, plan activities together. Kids tend to learn best when they’re having fun. It may also help to sign them up for team sports and other organized activities so that they get involved in activities like music or dance classes.
4. Resolve Conflicts.
Assertiveness can help a child deal with disagreements, especially when an adult is not able to. It can help your child to express themselves calmly and look for mutually satisfactory solutions.
1. Model Assertiveness.
Children learn by copying. As parents, you’re a powerful influence in your child’s life. Demonstrate the choices you want them to make. Treat yourself and others with kindness and respect.
Ways to model assertiveness for your child include:
- Staying calm
- Using first-person statements
- Creating boundaries or limitations
- Talking about your feelings and opinions
2. Target Key Areas.
Children and adults can struggle in some areas of their lives while being confident in others. Be alert for where your child needs the most support, and be sure to support them in all possible ways.
3. Keep at it.
Research has found that girls’ confidence drops about 30% between the ages of 8 and 14. Make assertiveness training an ongoing activity to keep up with any changes.
4. Have Fun.
It’s easier for your child to learn if you make the lessons enjoyable. Try role playing and use popular movies and books to reinforce your message.
Knowing how to stand up for herself can help your daughter to reduce stress, strengthen relationships, and reach her personal and professional goals. As a parent, you can provide a safe place for her to practice her assertiveness skills early and often.
Assertiveness is a skill that does not develop overnight. All of these suggestions will help your daughter learn how to be an assertive person, but it takes time and practice.
The fact that raising an assertive daughter is not easy, it requires patience and consistency, along with a willingness to listen and reflect on your child’s feelings.
Did you find this article helpful? Check out our other parenting articles at the Confident Voice Studio blog.