Are you respecting the assertive rights of your children?



“He doesn’t want to share his toys.”

“Refuses to kiss aunts.”

“There’s no way she’s wearing dresses.”

“I would like it to go to music and there is no way.”

These and similar statements often come out of our mouths.. And generally, accompanied by disappointment or frustration.

In our mind there is usually a clear idea of ​​what our children should be like. How they should behave, even what their tastes should be.

We shape their way of dressing, of behaving, we impose leisure activities on them, sometimes forgetting about their own personality and interests, and imposing our own.

We expect obedience, and that they are able to do things, even if they don’t want to, or don’t want to.

However, if we think about how we would like our children to be when we grow up, I think that all parents agree more or less: independent, self-confident, with good self-esteem, authentic and free.

But we often forget, now that they are still small, that they are genuine, independent beings, with their own personality. We forget that they have their own tastes, quirks, and quirks.

They are authentic beings.

They are not mere projections of ours, nor “mini selves”, nor “traces”. They have not come to this world to meet our expectations, nor to fill our gaps.

Children, like adults, they have their own assertive rights.

What is an assertive right?

Assertive rights are those we have for the mere fact of being people, and that allow us to relate to others from self-love and respect. They allow us to feel free to seek our happiness, to express our opinion, to defend our interests, to say “NO” and a long etcetera.

Although many seem obvious, they are not so obvious. And often, in practice, we forget about them.

If we live and interact based on these rights, we will be more consistent with ourselves, and we will have healthier and more satisfying relationships.

Children also have their own assertive rights.

Not because they are small they stop having these rights. And … what better gift can we give our children than teach them their rights, respect their genuine personality and thus allow them to develop healthy communication styles, and a strong self-esteem?

For me, these would be the assertive rights of children:

Assertive rights of children

You have the right:

Not to kiss

To choose their own clothes

To choose your friends

To choose your extracurricular activities and hobbies

Not to share their things

To say “I don’t know”

That some foods do not like

To ask for help

To the older people ask for forgiveness

To express your emotions

Imagine for a moment …

That someone forces you to kiss another person, and you don’t feel like it.

Let someone decide what clothes you should wear or what your style should be.

That someone tells you what your hobbies should be, or what you should eat at all times, even if you don’t like it …

In adults, any of these actions would seem outrageous. We would feel that our freedom and our rights are being violated.

Nevertheless, in children it costs us a little more to see it.

And I do not mean by this that we should not instill standards of education in our children, or advise, recommend and teach them. But always from a respectful vision. For example, it is a custom in Spain to give two kisses when greeting friends and family. We can encourage him to do so when we meet family, but if he does not want to, he is not forced or forced. That is, their way of expressing affection is respected. Like many grown-ups, they do not like physical contact, and that’s okay.

Another example would be sharing your things. It seems that yes or yes a child should be willing at any time and situation to leave their belongings. And it does not have to be that way. Generation and sharing can be encouraged, but cannot be forced. We may suggest that you take turns playing games or play collaborative play, but we cannot (and should not) force you. That’s a very personal decision, and you don’t do anything wrong if you don’t feel like it at the time. Some parents will think: “Well, you learn to tolerate the frustration that sharing causes you. And I would say to them: “may the other child also learn to tolerate the frustration caused by not being given what he wants.”

There are desirable universal values, no doubt. And civic and social norms. But we also have to be aware that learning and internalizing them, as long as they do not violate our assertive rights, is a long journey.

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