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10 Ways to Be Assertive

Assertiveness is a wonderful quality to have, and as long as you know how to use it properly it can be help you be direct and clear in your communication with others. In order to be successful with communication, there are several guidelines we can all follow to ensure our point is being made in an assertive way.  In this week’s edition of our ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips, we look at 10 keys to being assertive.

  1. Assertiveness is an approach that helps you to be direct, honest and respectful in expressing your feelings, wants, needs and opinions.
  2. You should always be respectful of others and yourself when being assertive.
  3. Being assertive should not mean being aggressive.
  4. Use clear and direct communication instead of unclear or indirect communication.
  5. Be more confident about how you say things and how you get your message across.
  6. Assertiveness will help your children learn how to be assertive and help a family to be positive and have shared values.
  7. Remember you are making requests not demands. Expect yes and no answers.
  8. Be ready to negotiate and compromise with others, including children.
  9. Be very specific with children in particular about what you need them to do. ‘I need you to tidy your room’ is too vague. Indicate certain areas of the room: ‘I need you to tidy your dolls today’ and explain what that should look like.
  10. Learn to say no and explain why it is a ‘No.’ The ‘No’ is about you safeguarding yourself as opposed to blocking another person: ‘No, you cannot walk alone to the shops, I need you to be safe and I need to hold your hand to ensure this.’

This week’s ’10 Ways to …’ is compiled by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly.

Coming soon: 10 Tips for Respecting Difference; 10 Tips on Preparing Your Child for Preschool; 10 Tips on Improving Your Child’s Self Esteem

For support and advice on any of these topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or


Picture credit: Pixabay

Girl in sun

10 Ways to Keep Your Children Safe in the Sun

Summer is here, and everyone loves a nice day outside in the sunshine. While summer can be full of fun, it is not without risk: the sun, the heat, bugs and pools can be dangerous to your child, so make sure you know how to look out for them while still having a good time this summer. As part of our weekly series of parenting tips, here are 10 tips for keeping your children safe in the sun.

  1. Dress children in layers of light clothes, taking off one layer at a time. Babies can overheat very quickly, so dress them in light cottons this time of year.
  2. Always apply sun cream. Cover children from head to toe before dressing them and top up throughout the day.
  3. Insect repellent can be very useful if children are in the gardens a lot.
  4. Always get children to wear sunhats.
  5. Sunglasses and shades on babies’ buggies are very important.
  6. Supervise paddling pools every minute children are around them. Never leave the water in them and let children out to play alone.
  7. Keep babies out of the direct sun at all times and keep young children indoors in the high temperatures.
  8. Encourage children to drink plenty and don’t worry so much about how much they eat, in warm weather their appetites will change.
  9. Children can be a little more challenging in warm weather. Be patient with them.
  10. When taking babies for walks in buggies, be aware of how hot they might be and be very aware of the sun shining on them. Even in the evening time the sun can still be very strong.

This week’s ’10 Ways to …’ is compiled by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly.

Coming soon: 10 Tips on Being Assertive; 10 Tips  for Respecting Difference; and 10 Tips on Preparing Your Child for Preschool

If you would like support, information or advice in relation to the topic above, contact our lo-call askonefamily helpline on 1890 66 22 12 /

Image Credit: Pixabay

The time for One Family’s ‘Ten Solutions Smarter Futures’ is now

Almost half of the State’s children are living in households in receipt of social welfare, the Oireachtas Social Protection Committee was told yesterday.

Ita Mangan, Chairwoman of the group that recommended a two-tier child benefit system, warned that this is “worrying” and also told the committee that one in five children in the Republic of Ireland lived in a home where income was less than €20,000 a year. Labour TD Brendan Ryan noted that the lack of affordable childcare was a “major barrier” to single parents working.

One Family’s ongoing campaign Ten Solutions Smarter Futures clearly outlines why the current welfare system needs to be reformed. It is time for a system which lifts people out of poverty and treats everyone with dignity and respect. Responding to Ms Mangan’s evidence to the committee Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy & Programmes for One Family, highlights the benefits of  Ten Solutions Smarter Futures  and encourages TDs and Senators to agree its execution.

“Against a background of inaccurate and discriminatory media stories which too often demonise lone parents, the system increasingly focuses on blaming individuals for being out of work,” Mr Duffin said.

“Overall, welfare reform has resulted in gaps in provision, especially for those in precarious situations such as those parenting alone. Reforms are based on the assumption that those on welfare should move into employment, regardless of the existence, quality or sustainability of jobs. They assume that benefit recipients lack the motivation to work. Significant moral and ethical questions exist over the ability of large multi-national private employment agencies to profit financially when disadvantaged people find themselves jobs.

“Meanwhile the real barriers to employment such as lack of childcare, employer discrimination, below poverty level wages and the lack of jobs are not tackled effectively. Many lone parents are required to engage in work seeking activities, education and training despite inadequate childcare provision in some areas.”

Mr Duffin concludes: “The real challenge is to make childcare affordable for those at the bottom end, so that there are strong incentives for those parenting alone parents to continue or engage in employment and/or education. That would do much more to help reduce child poverty, and it would help our economic our recovery too.”

The current system is expensive to administer. It is time to stop tinkering with the system and make some fundamental changes which can be achieved through an area-based whole of government outcomes-focused tactic to reduce child poverty. Current policies and practice do little to address the inequalities that place lone parents in precarious labour market situations. There is an acute and urgent need for policies that:

1.         Guarantee flexibilities within JA,

2.         Prevent in-work poverty and create adequate incomes to ensure that no child experiences poverty,

3.         Support job retention,

4.         Guarantee affordable, flexible and high-quality childcare.

The families facing the hardest struggle, particularly those parenting alone, do not have the spending power businesses need to get back to growth and create new jobs. It would be far better for family welfare and business growth if families were at the frontline of economic stimulus. Countries that took this approach when the economic crisis started have recovered much more strongly.

Read more about One Family’s Ten Solutions Smarter Futures campaign here.

Tubridy Radio show talks to dads who parent alone

RTE Radio’s Tubridy Show heard from some fathers who parent alone about how they manage parenting – and the dating game – One Family client John McCann told his story. Listen here to join the debate….