One of my main goals is to teach my daughter to stand up for herself. I want her to be self-assured and confident. She is now 6 years old and since starting school there have been lots of opportunities to teach her how to assert herself.
My FIL is a kidder, always picking on people. He repeats the same one-liners over and over. For instance, he'll say to Munchkin, "Let's just skip the party and go take a nap." Then he'll say, "Oh yes Munchkin, it is nap time." Over and over and over.
Munchkin mentioned to me several months ago that she didn't like Pop-Pop picking on her all the time. We talked about how she might handle the situation. I also mentioned it to Husband and asked him to mention it to his father. Of course, he didn't. He can't say anything that might be perceived as negative or critical to his father. So I worked with Munchkin.
This last visit, Pop-Pop was picking on her again and again. This time he kept rubbing her head with his fist, messing up her hair. The first few times she laughed. Then she said, "stop." When he did it again she said, in a very loud and stern voice, "Stop Pop-Pop. I said stop and stop means stop!" He stopped and said, "Munchkin, I'm sorry." I gave her a thumbs up and went in the other room to dance for joy.
How can such a simple thing bring me such pride and joy? Because I never would have said such a thing. I would have been accused of being overly sensitive. I am so proud of her for sticking up for herself. I'm glad that Pop-Pop respected her setting a boundary. It's a small lesson in the scheme of life, but an important one nevertheless. One that I am so grateful she learned.