daughter won’t stand up for herself
3 1/2-year-old daughter is very easygoing and generous in nature,
which is fine. However, during play I have noticed regularly that
other children take the toys she is playing with. She doesn't seem
to be able to stand up for herself and take them back. Instead she
just cries, forcing someone to intervene. Sometimes I let
the other children take things from her, choosing not to fight all
her battles. However, I am concerned that she is just going to
become a "pushover." Do you have any suggestions?
Your daughter's easygoing nature and lack of
aggression is not a weakness. She doesn't need to fight back, but should learn how to resolve conflicts on her own. Your
daughter is not helpless.
Prepare her ahead of time, by talking about what
she can and can't do. Teach her to use her words, when she's upset. When someone takes her toy, she can say
"I'm not finished playing." She can offer to share, play together,
or take turns without feeling
vanquished. Let her work out some conflicts on her own so that your
attention doesn't reinforce crying and helplessness. This will prepare her
for school, where the teacher can't see everything that goes on or understand
why she's crying. As your daughter learns to use words to negotiate, she will develop confidence and self-reliance.
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