Posts tagged assertiveness skills for kids
Got a kid who can’t—or won’t—assert herself around others? Highlights Magazine interviewed me, Dr. Michele Borba, and Dr. Kristin Buss for strategies on how to help passive young people find their voices. Check out our responses using the link below and at the “Smart Answer to Parents’ Toughest Questions” section on Highlights.com
For more information on helping your child move beyond passivity, aggression, or passive aggression and on to more assertive communication, check out the activities, games and discussion ideas in How to Be Angry: An Assertive Anger Expression Group Guide for Kids & Teens.
Six students from the Freetown Elementary School in Maryland recently completed the How to Be Angry curriculum. They were kind enough to share with me their feedback on the activities, lessons, and games and gave me permission, in turn, to share it with you! Special thanks to Aimee Meyer, their teacher who led the lessons, and all of the kids who are such gracious and enthusiastic learners!
Most important thing I’ve learned so far …
- “Bullies are not cool.”
- “I learned how to use I messages instead of you messages all the time.”
- “I learned about passive-aggressive behavior. That’s what I do.”
- When prompted for more information, the student said “You know, like when I mope around, shuffle real slow down the hall, soft-talk and work real slow or not at all. Now I know how to calm down better.”
- “I learned that you don’t have to take things out on someone else all the time. I only knew how to do that.”
What I have enjoyed the most about these lessons …
- “I liked when we did the activity with putting magnets underneath the types of anger. The magnets told us what the types of anger looked like and what we could do when we feel these.”
- “I’m moving to different parts of the room when we gained our opinions to something. We learned how to respect others’ opinions and that it’s okay to have different opinions.”
- “I really liked the game where we lined up by our birthday but we couldn’t talk. It was hard and we had to use our hands, fingers and faces to do it. We learned about nonverbal communication. It’s important.”
- “I liked how there were a lot of games. There was one at the beginning of each lesson and they were pretty fun.”
If I could improve on this book in one way I would …
- “Add more games. They are a lot of fun and active.”
- “Give the kids a workbook so they each have their own.”
- “Add pictures and colors to the worksheets or a Kid’s Workbook.”
Note for Educators: Handouts for kids in How to Be Angry are reproducible! You may feel free to make kids their own workbook to use as you are conducting each session. The kids recommend it and so do I!
Thanks again, kids!
All the best– Signe
HuffingtonPost writer, Michelle Baker, has shared this amazingly honest and deeply touching piece about bullying…by children, by adults, by those most trusted and most able to wound. I was struck by each and every paragraph of her article, but particularly by these words, which I know firsthand to be true from having worked as a therapist with traumatized children and adolescents:
I am always amazed when I hear anyone say that teenagers act out simply “to get attention.” Of course, they do. Children act out because they do need attention: positive, proactive, compassionate, responsive and responsible attention. I am astonished by how many adults don’t do anything because they don’t know what to do or ignore the situation because they don’t want to acknowledge that they might have to change. For a child in crisis whose parents and adult community have not shown the ability to appropriately respond in times of need, radical acts are often the only measures a child has in order to get someone to pay attention and take action.
Please check out: Bullying Runs Deep: Breaking the Code of Silence That Protects Bullies
Check out these great excerpts from a recent interview about bullying with bestselling children’s author, Trudy Ludwig. She is the author of My Secret Bully, which I recommend most highly and center one of my chapters around in Friendship & Other Weapons.
I especially love the definitions of rude vs. mean vs. bullying and her highlighting of issues such as the power of allies and the importance of restorative justice.
In both my scheduled workshops and my casual conversations on the topic of bullying, professionals and parents often ask me, “Is bullying really worse today than it was when we were kids?”
My answer to that question is an emphatic, “Yes.”
The 24/7 availability of cell phones, instant messaging, e-mails and social networking sites have intensified the impact of bullying, giving young people private ways to humiliate each other under-the-radar of adults and public ways to spread rumors and gossip to large-scale audiences.
To read the rest of this story, please visit the HuffingtonPost or click the link below.
Through the wonders of Facebook, a friend of a friend of a 4th grader shared this pearl of wisdom about conflict resolution. Only wish I had the pleasure of knowing this elementary school student personally!
In conflict with another person, if you come in fierce like a tiger, you’ll have to win. So only you will be happy.
If you come in like a bunny, scared, the other person will win, so only that person will be happy.
If you come in like a bird, with your wings and your heart open, both people in the conflict will win, and both will be free.
Will be sure to use this during How to Be Angry workshops with kids!
Some days, arguing comes as naturally to my kids as breathing! I take heart, knowing that there are lessons to be learned. Please read on and share this link if you, too, spend a lot of your parenthood hoping that all of this bickering will actually benefit your little ones down the line…
Have you ever been in a situation where you were so overwhelmed with feelings of anger that you were at a loss for words? You had the presence of mind to know all of the things that you shouldn’t say, but weren’t quite sure how to express your true feelings without damaging your relationship. Adults often struggle with effectively communicating angry feelings. For children, this challenge is doubly difficult; kids don’t want to get in trouble for expressing themselves aggressively, but they often lack the skills for communicating assertively.
For three specific skills parents can teach kids to cope with angry feelings effectively, please check me out on Yahoo! Shine:
Or check out How to Be Angry: An Assertive Anger Expression Group Guide for Kids & Teens for even more kid-friendly strategies.
From the time they are toddlers, children are often coaxed by adults to hide their feelings of anger behind a social smile. Worse yet, kids hear the explicit message, “Don’t be angry,” and are actively encouraged to deny this most basic of human emotions. When they act out—either through the tantrums of their earliest years or the rebellion of their teenage ones—they are reprimanded for all of the behaviors that adults do not want them to use.
Rather that hammering away at all of the things kids should not do when it comes to expressing their anger, parents and caregivers can effect lasting change in their kids anger-inspired behaviors by teaching them specific skills for how to be (more…)