Is it important for Christian parents to raise assertive and bold kids?

According to Paul Coughlin, President of The Protectors, teaching your kids to stand up for themselves will help them thrive as they enter their teen and adult years.

“I think we believe that the best thing we could do as parents is to create a nice kid.”

However, Paul points out that the word “nice” actually comes from the French word for ignorant.

“Historically, it has not been a compliment to say that someone was a nice person, it usually meant that a person is kind of weak, and in reality, nice people tend to be pretty weak.”

Kind vs nice

“Niceness is often a kneejerk reaction in order to please other people, it is not the same as kindness. Kindness is a choice and usually in order to be kind to someone, we actually have to disagree with another person. We actually have to have courage in order to be consistently kind to another person.”

Unfortunately, the line between being nice and being kind has been blurred, especially when it comes to parenting.

“Supposedly, the ideal Christian is one who over-parents their children. I get to coach those over-parented kids as a boys’ varsity soccer coach and I want to give them a T-shirt that says, Does not play well with others.”

When we over-parent our children in an effort to protect or perfect them, we actually set them back.

“They can often be full of themselves, because the world is all about them, or they tend to be very fragile. They tend to be the kid who never really exerts his or her will. And think about, why should that kid exert their will because mom and dad have done everything for them.”

When kids fail to learn how to exert themselves apart from their parents, they end up getting lost in the shuffle of youth culture and can become targets at school.

“They tend to become very high targets for bullying because they don’t exert their will. Bully’s look for nonassertive people, it’s mostly body language that they profile with and that’s the kind of person they zero in on, they’re not looking for a fight, they want to overwhelm, so they want to go after the kids that they believe are weak who don’t exert themselves.”

Paul calls all parents to reevulate how they teach their kids.

“We really need to look at the real Jesus, He was not a nice person, He was a good person and there’s a world of difference between the two.”

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