Many children love being bossy. For some, it just seems to come naturally and to be honest; they are good at it. While confidence is a good thing, being bossy is something that should not be tolerated in children. Although when a three-year old tells you, “Go to bed mommy. NOW!” it would be easy to burst out laughing, and in some cases, this is a great way to break them of the habit although they probably would not like your reaction.
Some children are born with strong personalities. It is not anything you did or did not do but what they are made of. Like in the above scenario, a little bossiness at a young age is cute but as it continues and becomes more intense, it quickly gets old. The older a child gets, the more their bossiness is found to be unattractive. When they go to school and start trying to make friends, the other children will quickly become tired of being told what to do. If not resolved quickly, your child’s bossiness could turn to bullying if they feel they need to do something more desperate to get attention or acceptance.
There is hope for the bossy child. This is simply a strong-willed child. If you look at some of the great achievers of our time and from the past, some of them were also strong-willed. If channeled in the right direction, this strength can be put to work for good. Teaching your child to communicate and helping them develop good control over their emotions can turn the ugly bossiness into solid leadership qualities. As the parent of a bossy child, here are some tips to help you with this situation:
Whenever your child makes a demand of you or any other adult, do not laugh, tease, or even respond. With a serious face, look at them and tell them to repeat their request in an appropriate manner. Never do what your child demands. Your child needs to understand very early on that you are the parent and in control. Make sure that social activities are supervised. Whenever your child is polite or shares his or her possessions, offer praise and in some cases, a small reward.
If your child chooses to stand firm and refuses to let up, especially when in public, take your child by the arm and escort him or her to a quiet place where you confirm with them that you will not tolerate the behavior. If at home, explain that they can go to their room or if in public that you will leave if the behavior is not changed immediately. Get your child involved in team sports where they will be forced to learn team playing.
Do not embarrass your child. If your child is being overly bossy while around friends, quietly whisper in his or her ear telling them this. Sometimes it is a matter of making them aware of their behavior – like breaking an old habit. Although the possibility of your child being an instigator in some of the arguments with other children, it is important not to make your child always feel like the “bad child.” Finally, make sure that you have a good level of communication with your child.
Having a bossy child is not a lost cause but something that takes time to correct. Follow these guidelines and you will start to see a difference in your child. In addition, their level of self-confidence will build and soon the bossiness will come to a complete stop.