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When being "nice" is not a good idea or why we should not aim at raising "convenient children".

Everyone loves polite, well behaved children. Children who listen, follow adults' direction, behave well in class, always get along with peers and don't fight. These kids are convenient and are the desired product of effective parenting. Moreover, these kids appear content most of the time.

But the key word unfortunately is "appear". Because inevitably at some point in their lives, this complacent and obedient nature of theirs can become a breeding ground for many problems. It might happen as early as during the elementary years but often is discovered much later in life, when they won’t have supportive adults who can help and direct them, and most importantly, when many personality traits are so well integrated within their character that change becomes very difficult or perhaps even impossible. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could notice the first signs and steer our children in the right direction, towards greater self-assurance, higher self-esteem, and independence? We could then teach them that being nice is important but taking care of your own needs should become their top priority at times.

For those of us who struggle with saying no firmly, without apologizing or tracking back, who always want to appea