Messages That Prevent Kids from Being Assertive

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When kids are taught to be quiet, ignore their boundaries, and not feel, they become adults who lack communication skills and the ability to express their feelings. It’s more important to teach kids how to say things appropriately than it is to teach them to be quiet and accept whatever comes. Kids are aware of what they feel, but this self-awareness is challenged and stifled by adults who do not allow kids to use their voices. Control does not equal respect — it equals temporary obedience.

These Messages Prevent Kids from Being Assertive:

  • Listen to all adults.
  • Stay in a child’s place.
  • Be quiet unless I ask you to talk.
  • Don’t ask for anything.
  • Finish ALL of your food.
  • You don’t have anything to be upset about.
  • Your feelings and thoughts don’t matter.
  • Do what you’re told and don’t ask questions.
  • You don’t get an opinion.
  • Basically, be quiet and don’t feel — and if you do, don’t tell me about it.

This post is part of a series by Nedra Glover Tawwab, a licensed therapist and sought-after relationship expert. For more wisdom from Nedra, follow her on Instagram @nedratawwab or check out her website, www.nedratawwab.com.

Tags: Motherhood, Developing Skills & Character

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Nedra Glover Tawwab

Nedra Glover Tawwab, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW is a content creator, writer, and sought-after relationship expert. For more wisdom from Nedra, follow her on Instagram or check out her website, www.nedratawwab.com. See Full Bio

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