“I don’t want to make you sad and I do want you to stop.”

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of our global efforts to help protect kids from abuse, bullying, and other harmful behavior, each day this month, we will share a time-tested skill from our Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Skill #13: What To Do If Someone Gets Upset. Emotional and peer pressure is a big reason why young people often have a hard time stopping unsafe behavior. When they set a boundary, the other person might get upset and “not like me anymore.” Fear of losing a friend or approval can lead to risky activities and other problems. You can teach a child how to navigate this challenge by empowering them with simple techniques and phrases that allow them to take control of such situations. Try this role play.

This full practice is a part of the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Emotional pressure is a big reason why young people often have a hard time stopping unsafe behavior. When we set a boundary, the other person might get upset.

Kidpower’s Underlying Principle is that:

The safety and healthy self-esteem of a child are more important than anyone’s embarrassment, inconvenience, or offense!

Tell a child, “Pretend you have said ‘Stop’ to something someone is trying to do with you that should be your choice, such as giving a hug or playing a game. Suppose this person is someone you care about, and he or she gets hurt feelings or mad because you said to stop. You can say, ‘Sorry and stop,’ or ‘I don’t want to hurt your feelings, and I want you to stop.”

Say, “Let’s practice. Pretend I said, ‘That hurts my feelings.’” Coach the child to say, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, and please stop.”

Practice with other examples, such as:

You: “You’re being rude!”
Kid: ”I don’t mean to be rude, and please stop.”

You: “I thought you were happy to see me.”
Kid: “I am happy to see you, and stop.”

You: “You’re being unfair.”
Kid: “I don’t mean to be unfair, and stop.”

You: “You’re being difficult.”
Kid: “Sorry, and stop.”

Remind the child that, even if the person stops, it is still important to tell an adult she or he trusts about what happened.

For a FREE explanation on the simple methods you can use to teach children to use each of these skills, download the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook on our website –this ebook will be FREE of charge in English, Spanish, and Arabic in honor of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Please share this skill with others. Let’s work together to teach young people to take charge of their safety, increase self-confidence, and develop healthy, positive relationships! 

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Published: April 13, 2019   |   Last Updated: April 13, 2019

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.