Using My Assertive Mommy Voice


I meet with a Parents as Teachers educator every month to talk about the girl's growth, development, behavior, etc. It's a wonderful program and completely free (double bonus).

Our educator, Becky, has a few master's degrees so she's well-informed but so laid back and helpful. You can tell she adores little ones and also really enjoys her job as a parent educator. Love this.

Last week was a little crazy as I was babysitting these two (ages 2 and 5) that day, but they sat at the table and cut, colored and stickered and Ladybug went back and forth between Becky and I and the kids. It ended up being fine.

(They asked that their identity remain anonymous on my blog. haha.)

However, at the end of our meeting, I said something to Ladybug that triggered a response from her that, in turn, I was able to share with Jeremy and realize how un-assertive I have been.

She said, "Now, if you give her a choice to come or not, you may have to deal with the answer of 'No'. But if she doesn't have a choice, you need to tell her without asking a question. You need to use your assertive voice."

**INSERT huge Aha! moment for me.**

Since then, I've realized how often I ask our girl instead of telling her when I'm not really giving her a choice. The days of "No" are coming soon and I need to be ready!

Instead of:
"Can you please not throw that on the floor?"

I need to say:
"We don't throw food on the floor."

Or rather than:
"Can you bring your juice to me?"

I need to say:
 "Please bring me your juice." 

Or how about:
"Ladybug, can you not hit the dog?"

I need to say:
"Ladybug, we don't hit the dog. That hurts him." 

Becky said that even ending an assertive direction with, "Okay?" defeats the purpose. (Like, "We don't hit dogs, okay?") If I give her the option of saying "No" -- which is important in the correct situations -- I have to deal with the fact that she will eventually say no and I will have to get up and get what I want instead of having her obey.

BUT, on the reverse, giving her a (limited) choice in ways that provide healthy boundaries is wonderful practice and gives her some semblance of control or independence in her life.

Like a choice between two good options,

"You're thirsty. Would you like juice or milk?"
"You're hungry. Would you like sweet potatoes or ham?"
"Which outfit would you like to wear, the purple or blue?" (She loves this one!!)
"Would you like to walk holding my hand or be carried?"

Or a yes/no answer like,

"Would you like to read a book with Mommy?"
"Are you hungry/thirsty?"
"Do you want to help Mommy water the flowers?"

I still have so much to learn, but I thought I'd share this little tidbit of info to any new mommies or daddies like us out there that need to use assertive voices! :-) In turn, I sense that this will evoke a sense of confidence in our children too.

What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment