by Guest Author

Recently I had been challenged to do something that I never thought I was ever going to do. The goal of this challenge was to help me be more assertive. The task was first proposed to me about 4 months ago and I balked at the idea. Then the time came and I got a little desperate and realized that I didn’t have too many viable choices. The person who challenged me was very nurturing yet firm. He set a specific task (very detailed), had a timeline and a reward attached to each successful step. I took the challenge because what else did I have to loose. I was already in a rut.

The first time I did it, gosh… it was still daunting; but then I took a deep breath, took the risk and didn’t think more. I got my first reward (small but still a reward) and the second step was a little challenging, but by the third step I was flying and now I am soaring. I DID IT.

So, if you are a parent, challenge your children or teenagers: small, specific steps, No arguing or questioning. Attach a tangible reward. If they fight you, stick with the plan. Or be playful and just challenge them. Sometimes a little challenge will get us what we want. Remember the times when our friends say play a little hard to get??? Human beings like to be challenged, because once we set a goal and small steps to achieve it, and a reward attached to it, we are likely to do it.

Another example, Insight Brookline had a plan to open a second office in another location. The owners wanted to challenge themselves. It started as an idea, and then there was plan with small steps and now we have a second location. More of us to help more of you.
If you are a parent and struggling with your child, challenge yourself to work with a professional to find different ways to do talk, negotiate and challenge your child. Or to learn how to be nurturing and firm at the same time. Or, if you want to make changes in your life and want to know more, contact Aileen at

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