Assertiveness Training

Assertiveness is the skills of being able to stand up for oneself, in a positive and calm way, without being aggressive. Assertiveness is backed by the presence of self-reliance and confidence, virtues which can be best shaped during adolescence. Adolescents, who develop assertiveness, learn to express themselves and their needs, in confident, honest and respectful ways. Passive aggression or active aggression in adolescents are the best indicators of poorly developed assertiveness skills, which further hampers their adjustment with parents, siblings or peers. 
Practices that build self-confidence, reduce aggressiveness, improve communication skills and lower stress, and may also contribute to adolescents becoming more assertive in their approach.  Parents play an important role in the behaviour formation of an adolescent. Parents can contribute to making their teenager become more assertive by adopting certain behaviours in their own parenting. As parents of adolescents, one can:
  • Avoid criticizing mistakes, encourage discussion on more appropriate ways to solve the problems 
  • Eliminate comparisons
  • Appreciate and focus more on efforts than on not achieved goals
  • Encourage the adolescent to adopt assertiveness strategies, e.g., use of 'I' statements
  • Teach the adolescent about the appropriateness of saying 'No' when required
  • Value their opinions and thoughts
  • Promote the adolescent's self-esteem and confidence
Adolescents who are assertive in their approach send the message that they believe in themselves and are confident.  Assertiveness is one of the most positive skill sets which can be developed at adolescence for lifelong success. Evidence supports that adolescents who are assertive, 
  • Are less likely to be bullied and stressed
  • Have good communication skills
  • Develop better self-control
  • Are confident and responsible
  • Are better equipped to resist peer pressure 
  • Have adequate social skills

"Being assertive does not mean attacking or ignoring other's feelings. It means that you are willing to hold up for yourself fairly- without attacking others"-Albert Ellis