Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is Your Child Their Own Best Advocate?

Self-advocacy is the ability to understand and effectively communicate one's needs to other individuals.  It is all about educating the people around you on how you want to be treated. One of the most important skills to have in school and eventually in the adult world is this ability. How do we teach it to our kids? Great question! Here are some tips:
There are 3 steps to becoming an effective self-advocate Help your child:
    1. Know herself. For example,  your child might discover that she is easily distracted at school.
    2. Know what she needs. She may need to sit in the front row at school.
    3. Know how to get what she needs. Here are some areas to work on:
      • How to make good eye contact. 
      • Make a request with out blaming or complaining.
      • Listen to and understand the other person’s point of view.
      • Negotiate for what they want and need.
      • Not giving up when  road blocks occur for example, the person gets intimidating.
      • Know when, who and how to ask for help.
      • Be resourceful. If that person or situation doesn’t work, ask your child, “What else can you try?
Parenting Practice: Pick one or two areas to work on and have her practice with you.

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