Can your child stand up for themselves? Or are they a pushover? We’ve had to work on this skill in our family and I say it is a skill. Being assertive is a tricky thing to learn, especially in a family where you are highlighting the importance of considering the other person.

We’ve had a few situations early in our family life where we saw that this needed to be addressed – it needed to be taught. One time we were on holidays and the kids were taking turns at having the first choice of which bed whenever we walked into a motel room. One night the person with the choice was so torn because they really wanted to the top bunk and yet they knew one of their siblings wanted it as well. We could have commended them because of their heart towards the other person but instead we assured them that sometimes they can choose something for themselves as well. Another situation was when the kids played sport – they would almost stand aside and let the opposition take the ball out of good-manners. We had to teach them the difference between good sportsmanship and good manners! A time for both!

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