Are you surprised to learn that 85% of students do not say “NO” to unwanted sexual touch? Did you know it only takes 7 times of doing something before a habit is formed? What most of us don’t realize is that small habits can put us at big Risk. Habits, by definition cause you to react without thinking –it’s an automatic response. The TPP curriculum teaches young people how to begin getting into the Habit of using Assertive Communication. This means using direct, honest, firm communication while respecting yourself and the other person in situations large and small.
Assertiveness is one of the most important skills you can teach and use for success throughout life. Studies have shown that teens who are assertive are: less likely to be bullied, better at communicating, more confident, less stressed, more responsible and better able to resist pressure from peers. Remember, teens learn best by watching others, so role modeling being assertive can be a parent’s greatest influence in their child’s life.
These are 5 ways we can teach young people to be assertive:
- Teach kids to identify feelings and use a range of feeling words
- Reinforce the different communication styles (passive, assertive and aggressive)
- Teach youth how to express feelings in a positive and respectful way (“I” statements) – see example below
- Role model assertive behavior
- Recognize and praise assertive behavior
Assertiveness does not come easy to everyone but is vital to a person’s well-being and helps them take care of themselves.
For more information, watch this short YouTube video: Teach Your Teens it’s Okay to Say No