How to get your kids to stand up for themselves

This mother-of-three and author will be talking to parents about the difference between whining and complaining effectively

Amy Fish wants your kids to complain. Now, you may think they are already highly skilled in this area but according to Fish, kids need help to learn the difference between whining and complaining effectively in order to get what they need in life.

Amy Fish

Fish, who is the ombudsperson at Concordia University and a mom of three, has just launched her second book, I Wanted Fries With That: How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need (pictured below). She’ll be speaking to parents about how to teach their kids to do exactly this at a free public presentation and book signing at Trafalgar School for Girls on Monday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

Fish said one of the most important things parents need to teach their children is how to complain effectively, even if parents themselves aren’t completely sure how to do it themselves. Coaching young children to clearly and respectfully ask for what they want and need helps build the confidence they will need later in life to withstand peer pressure, negotiate their salary, or advocate for issues that are important to them, she said.

As a professional who has heard thousands of complaints over the years, she believes a lot of people don’t have their complaints heard, not because of the lack of merit, but because they don’t know how to communicate the right the way.

“As parents, we have the responsibility to teach our kids how to negotiate the world, because if they are able to ask for the smaller things, such as a homework extension, one day they’ll be able to ask for the bigger things, like a raise,” Fish said.

Parents attending the lecture can expect to learn when to stand up for their kids and when to let them stand up for themselves, as well as practical ways to teach children and teens techniques to assert themselves effectively.

This presentation will take place as part of the Smart Parenting in the City series at Trafalgar School for Girls, 3495 Simpson St, Montreal, corner Dr. Penfield Ave.

For more information about this presentation or other lectures in the series, visit trafalgar.qc.ca/community/special-series/smart-parenting-in-the-city.

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