Assertiveness: Key to Better Parenting
I have always been aware of my number one weakness: non-assertiveness. But I have come a long way from the time when I couldn't say 'no' to a child molester and not understanding the importance of telling my parents.
At my first job after high school, I had the misfortune of working for someone who told me that I could have it all but with no questions asked. He said so clearly that there were women who slept their way up and I could do the same. He then started to hold me tightly and was already groping all over. I was too stunned to move in the beginning but I did try to push him away. Luckily for me, a security guard walked into the office.
Some guardian angels must be looking out for me. On both incidents, I could have been a statistic. I didn't have the courage to tell anyone but I made a promise to myself that if I should ever climb the corporate ladder, I would do it with my brains.
Unfortunately, my parents didn't have the extra money to put me through four years of university. I worked as a tutor to three kids throughout my tertiary years and with a scholarship loan, I managed to finish my degree in journalism with a second class upper.
I took on the first job that came my way: as a seminar organizer. Again the same old pattern emerged. For six months my boss didn't contribute to my retirement account. I was not aware that it was unlawful. Then she made me answer calls from all the speakers I had invited to give seminars for payments due to them. She had purposely delayed paying them for reasons only known to her. I couldn't see a good future with her, so I quit.
Many of my course mates had joined the newspaper and there was an opening for a cub reporter. I got in and was learning the ropes pretty well at the news desk. Six months later, I was transferred to the features desk.
It was all rosy in the first year and because I was getting familiarized with the work and all, I gladly took on anything that came my way. Not such a smart move really. Whenever my editor asked for a volunteer for some uninteresting articles, no one would do it. And because I had set the pattern for being the obliging one, or rather the one who couldn't say 'no' most of the time, I had to do the assignments. I had never asked for extension of deadlines and I was also the "secretary" who took phone messages for the others. When the time came for assessment and salary increments, I was not the favoured staff. After two agonizing weeks, I finally plucked up enough courage to speak to my editor about it. She merely said: "I was happy with your work. All I did was to recommend (the increments) but really, it was up to the management to decide!"
Would you stay on with a leader who wouldn't stick up for you? I asked for a transfer to the business desk where its editor was a known task master but fair and just.
Six years later, I found myself in a greater challenge. My five-year old daughter was a victim of a class bully at her kindergarten. From the many books on bullying that I read about, I had gathered that so long as the victims were not coached to be assertive and helped to build their self-esteem, the chances of them remaining victims continued into adulthood.
Since then, I have been trying to help my daughter increase her self-esteem. One of the many ways I learnt is to teach a child to love herself. Well, we are still working on her remembering to say: "I love you Mummy. And I love myself too."
I knew repeating this mantra would only help for awhile. One evening driving through a heavy traffic I made up a story to entertain my kids. It was about a six-year old girl named Lulu who would do anything for her friends because she wanted to be liked by them. Lulu didn't like herself much because she didn't think her kind-heartedness amounted much. "Now, if you were Lulu, do you suppose your friends would like you if you didn't like yourself in the first place?" I asked my children.
I was surprised even my two and half year old boy simultaneously replied no with his sister.
The story continued with Lulu being asked to pick some fruits from a tree by her friends. As she was climbing up the tree, fiery red ants bit her all over. But because she feared rejection from the others if she quit, she carried on. When she started to yank a bunch of fruits from a branch, she inadvertently dropped a beehive onto the ground.
The story ended with Lulu being hospitalized for bee stings but she learnt an unforgettable lesson about self-love and being assertive.
Now whenever my daughter needs a reminder about self-love, all I need to mention is Lulu.
Pat is a freelance journalist and a mother of two lovely kids. She enjoys writing and sharing her experience of being a mother. You can read more of her writings at KlinikOng.com
Time Out for Adults
"Get down from the table top right now! What are you doing? Floors are for standing on, tables are for eating. You need a time out, young lady.
Partnering With Your Daycare or Preschool
For the most positive daycare experience for your child, partner with your childcare center and make a personal investment beyond the monthly tuition. You can build your partnership with your daycare by volunteering your time, contributing goods or services, or donating money.
Create Your Dream Family
There has been much attention in the media of late on the transformation of families, Dr Phil's Phenomenal Family Series and Super Nanny to name a few. I recently had the pleasure of being featured on a radio program, Coaching Corners in New York in which I spoke about creating your dream family by becoming the parent you want to be.
Why Creativity and Self-Expression are Important to Little Kids
Can you draw a straight line? Most adults don't consider themselves artistic. Parents do, however, worry about their toddler's art abilities.
Sibling Fighting - Reduce Sibling Rivalry by NOT Keeping Score
Recently, a much-anticipated game of mini-golf with my children soon turned into a disaster. There were smiles all round as we hit off from the first tee but the enjoyment factor was reduced to zero as my children's smiles were replaced by tears, put downs and whining.
Playful Parenting - More than Just Fun and Games
Early childhood educators have called play "children's work". Many parents believe their children should be doing something more productive than merely having fun.
Picky Eater Kid Nutritional Guidelines
Although many children are picky eaters at some stage in their lives, the experts say not to worry. Unless you are feeding him or her chips and cookies three times each day, these children will most likely meet their weekly nutritional quotas.
Children and Mom and Paper
Memorabilia - Children can create enough artwork for an entire gallery in a few short weeks. The key here is choices; establish a particular place-e.
Planning the Ultimate Kid Birthday Party
Child Party Planning Guideline #1)Pick the ThemeYour child is going to look forward to their birthday months before it arrives. Starting from their last birthday and after every friend's birthday they attend through the year, they will continuously ask the same question, "Is it my birthday tomorrow?" Let them know how important their birthday is and make sure they are apart of the planning process.
Parenting Your Teenager: 3 More Dangerous Myths
MYTH: If you have not parented as well as you would have liked up until now, it's too late to try anything different.REALITY: This is one of those seductive little lies that sounds so close to the truth.
Preventing Obesity in Young Children
Do you have a young child whose weight or eating habits are out of control? Need some real world help with 'taming the cookie monster'? Here are some things that worked for our family.Our daughter, now 14 years old, was plump from birth and thrived happily for her first year on a combination of breast milk and formula.
Now, Theyre Bullying My Daughter In Our Home: Welcome To Cyber-Bullying
Last night Tom's daughter, Sue, came out of her room to see her dad and said, "I got another one of those instant messages. It says, 'tomorrow you had better not show up at school or else'.
The Challenges of Single Parenting
Having worked with parents for the last 35 years and written books on parenting and relationships, I've discovered that one of the greatest challenges for us as parents is to be loving role-models for our children, showing our children through our behavior how to take personal responsibility for their own feelings and needs. Our children need to learn from our role-modeling how to nurture themselves within and how to create a sense of safety in the world.
Its OK to Say No
In the last 20 years we've all been introduced to a new style of parenting that is much more democratic than most of us experienced, growing up. Families are more child- centered than they were before, we no longer advocate spanking as an effective form of discipline, we often allow children to negotiate for privileges or things, and we're much more involved in our children's lives than most of our parents were in our lives.
Family Meetings 101
Family meetings provide opportunities for feelings to be aired and validated. They also allow younger children to feel they are an important part of the decision-making process when it comes to family vacations and other major and minor family functions.
Busy Moms, Dont Forget to Take Time Out for You!
As mothers, we play so many different roles and most of us do not take the time off that we deserve. Just think about it, we play doctor, cook, chauffeur, teacher, lawyer, and the occasional referee as well.
Late Night Adventures with Your Children
Vacations are fun ! Weekends with the family are nice. But, Late Night Adventures are "simply marvelous".
5 Steps to Raising an Optimistic Child
I had just completed a session with 17-year old Julie who suffered from severe depression. Julie believed she was a total failure and would never be able to change anything in her life.
Is Your Teen Swamped with Homework and Tests?
I hear from many parents that their child is stressed out with schoolwork, tests, finals, finding time to study, and extracurricular activities.I do not like seeing overstressed children and teenagers.
Poker Parenting: 4 Ways Poker Skills Produce Parenting Thrills
Even as a busy parent, I'm sure you've seen a poker show on TV or at least heard your friends or relatives talking about it. You might even be someone who's caught up in the poker craze of the past two years, riding the wave of a steep learning curve.
|home | site map|