1. My son, age three, cries over everything. One could clearly label him a “cry baby”. Is this something he will grow out of or can we teach him to not cry over the drop of a hat. I’m worried once he starts school, his peers will make fun of him.
Answer: The ‘sensitive child’ is often seen upset or crying over small things in life. We can talk to them, reassure them, or even punish them and none of this will help. But let’s be clear, and not dance around this behavior pattern. It does not tend to just go away. And, this will never serve them! Never! It will only make them vulnerable to the normal challenges of life.
2. What is the best way to teach young girls (8) to be assertive, stick up for yourself and still remain kind? My daughter is always afraid she’ll hurt someone’s feelings, even if they are clearly picking on her.
This is a great question, and a situation often worked with in my coaching practice. There are several ways we can address this. However, this is a lesson that takes a bit of time. Unlike the situation above, this is not resolved in days or weeks. We have to be patient, and let the lessons and methods unfold over time.
Answer: First, we must look at the primary role model your daughter is watching: mom. What are your tendencies, and proclivities? Do you tend to model the behavior you are asking of your daughters? Are you strong, assertive and clear with others, or are you a ‘people pleaser’ who tends to soften and give-in when you should stay strong?
If the answer is ‘people pleaser’ then this is the most important place to start. For some, this may be true. For others, this is not relevant. However, please just know that it is very difficult to escape the model you set for your child. All the coaching and tools won’t help if we fighting against the tide of our own parenting actions!