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I had this long, drawn-out post written asking for suggestions on not passing my timidity/confrontation-avoidance to my son. But I realized that I know what to do; I just need support doing it.

So here goes. Starting right now, I will try to model the following for my son:
  • telling someone when their actions have upset me, and why
  • being clear and communicative when I'm upset, and not just letting my actions say that
  • remaining in the conversation and not "shutting down" when I'm upset
Two things I'm proud of today:
  1. When another kid said something that hurt my son's feelings, we practiced saying "what you said hurt my feelings." My natural response would have been to say "oh, he didn't mean it like that, blah blah." In the end my son didn't want to tell the kid that his feelings were hurt, but at least we practiced.
  2. When my husband interrupted me this morning and said something unkind, I used a calm voice and told him why that hurt my feelings (after my initial reaction of walking off in a huff, but still...progress). My kid got to see me standing up for myself, and got to see my husband apologize. (I promise that my husband does not usually interrupt or say unkind things.)
What about you? If you were raised to be non-confrontational and passive-aggressive, how are you working on changing that so your children learn better communication skills?
 

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Oooh this is helpful. I don't usually have a problem standing up for myself but tend to be really snarky in group settings such as the playground. I will say sarcastic things to my dc or dh loudly about the people there. After reading your post I realized how that is not an example I want to teach my kids. I did have one victory today. We were at the park with a lot of big kids (some kind of class) running around. I was there with my dc who are pretty big but I also had my day care with me and some of them are small. The kids kept running and pushing and shouting get out of the way little kids. Instead of loudly calling out their behavior I just asked my crew to switch to a safer area. It really felt good not to have the snark come out and it modleld to my dc to just worry about your own space, which is something we have been working on. Thanks for this thread.
 

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This is something I need to work on too. I'm very quiet and don't like conflict, and DH is a very strong personality who will walk all over me if I let him - not in a bad way, he'll just assume what he's doing or what he wants us to do together is fine unless I specifically tell him otherwise, which I am hesitant to do because of MY personality. He's getting better about reading my nonverbal cues that he's bothering me, but I'd rather he didn't have to - I'd LOVE to be able to just come out and say it and feel comfortable doing so!
 
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