Parenting

Child very submissive

Nikita
3 to 7 years

Created by
Updated on Apr 22, 2015

Hi all, my daughter is 3+. We live in a small family: just me, my husband, and her. She is a well behaved child, happy, and adjusts well in school, likes to talk and mixes well with people. I have noticed that she tends to get shoved around by more aggressive children and also gets easily scared by a scolding adult and sometimes stops doing things she is enjoying, for eg: running or playing on swings, just because another mother is tlelling her child not to do so. Even children younger to her can manage to push her around, take things away from her and her only reaction is either to give or come running to me scared. I sometimes think too much strict disciplining by me and my husband has probably done this or maybe it is her nature. Please tell me how can i teach her to be assertive. thanks

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Carol

| Apr 22, 2015

Hi Nikita, You almost got the root cause. Strict disciplining strategies makes a child get afraid of people who are stronger than her or those who the authority figures like teachers. Another thing that causes child to be submissive is being labeled as a weak child. Sometimes when we have conversation with family members, we mention that "My child doesn't eat properly. Look how weak she looks. " Portraying her as a weak child would make her have a lower self esteem and confidence. To boost her confidence, give her positive comments on her traits. "While playing physically active games, tell her "come on try it. you could do it". Being told to behave well all the time or being told to give in or to be always nice when a child snatches her toy, would teach her that saying NO is an unacceptable behaviour. When a child pushes another child, do not mention to your child that the aggressive child is bad. Instead focus on the behaviour. It's best to say that child's behaviour is bad or He made the wrong choice that he didn't know how to express/say how he feels. This would help the child see the reality and learn for herself that under certain situation, it's natural for anyone to be angry or frustrated. It's ok to express her frustration. But in a different and effective way. Teach her what she could say when a child tells her to get down from the swing. Teach her to look in the eye while speaking to the other child and say "Wait your turn". Have a role play session and practice what to say. When you are in a toy shop, if your child wants to know where a toy is, you could ask your child to ask the shop assistants "where can I find blocks? Or how much is this toy".. When you are in a shop, give her the exact change and let her buy a toffee or whatever she wants to buy. Allow her to tell the shop keeper what she wants and give the money and buy it from him. Stay beside her but let her do the talking. This would boost her confidence in talking to people stronger than her or elder to her. teaching her to express how she feels with words, or to understand others emotions would help her deal with the situation. When there is a conflict between the children, do not interfere unless there is a threat of physical hurt. Don't protect her all the time. Be a passive listener. But intervene only when things go out of hand or if you foresee that someone is going to get hurt.

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Shikha Batra

| Apr 22, 2015

Hi Nikita! I believe with time she will come around and will be able to assert herself by sharing what she wants. It is difficult to handle an aggressive child but same should not hold true for a submissive child. Sometimes a child is unable to judge how to behave in different situations. For ex :follow instructions at home while assert yourself when u r outside home. it is advisable to follow certain changes at home : 1. allow the child to keep her point of view. This will boost her confidence level. 2. don't snub the child if there is a difference of opinion. For ex if a child wants u to play with her in the afternoon. U could say" baby what if we do same thing post lunch. Mama has to finish this job first". 3. Respecting her opinions and demand and if that's feasible fulfilling it too. 4. Praising the child for voicing her concerns. 5. appreciating the child for raising questions , doubts and answering those. 6. giving her the chance to decide for herself. for ex what dress she wants to wear for the evening. 7. Allowing her to make mistakes and learn from those. We all want very best for our kids and do not want them to suffer because of their mistakes. so we decide what's best for them and ask them to follow our instructions without realizing what they want and how they feel. Giving them an overprotective environment at home rob them of the opportunity to learn how to face the outside world. Being little relaxed at home and giving a comfortable environment where she can express herself would bring a change in her behavior too. hope this helps!

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