Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How to Teach Assertiveness: Structure

One of the primary ways to teach assertiveness is by creating a structures environment. Children love to meet our expectations-we are just not usually very clear on them! By providing a routine schedule for the day, with flexible regularity, children begin to see patterns of activities and expected behaviors for those activities.

In my class room, a favored time of day is "Choice Time". This is the time of day when students get to play with all the fun enrichment activities, games and building supplies we have in our classroom. I also use "Choice Time" to help teach assertiveness.

In our daily morning meetings, we often role play how to ask a friend for a toy if they are hogging. We practice kindly letting someone know they are not sharing. We discuss ways to share our feelings with people who are whining, stealing, or otherwise annoying us. As the students share anonymous situations and practice responding, they are becoming equipped of assertiveness.

We wouldn't expect our child to give a speech or conduct an experiment without first preparing them. Relationships are much like speeches and experiments, particularly for the gifted child. We as teachers and parents need to work together to give gifted students the skills they need for these social interactions.

Join us tomorrow as we look at how to avoid overscheduling to promote assertiveness.

**For a more in-depth look at this topic, please read Dr. James Webb's A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children**

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