Any child can slip into this habit, being bossy. Whether its the oldest trying to tell their younger siblings what they need to do & not do constantly, or an only child who thinks the world is busy revolving around only them 24/7 & everyone should be at their beckon call, or the youngest child who gets treated like the "sweet lil' innocent baby" & gets away with absolute "murder".
I think almost every kid tries on "bossy" at 1 point or another, but it is up to the parents to determine just how long this phase will last by what behaviors they deem as acceptable & unacceptable. It is important to note before I move on that there is a difference between "bossy" & a "leader". I want my children to help lead/guide each other & their friends in positive directions-encouraging them to turn their choices around if they are doing something wrong or dangerous & model to them the correct things to say & do-but I don't want them to try & talk down to people or be dictators. Its all about teaching them the "balance".
I want to say the first time "bossy" tries to show its ugly head is when we hear our child test out the word "NO!" after being told to do something they don't necessarily agree with (Sometimes "NO!" is first disguised as a very disgruntled grunt or an aggressive arch of the back before they can talk). Perhaps you have tried to feed them something they don't like or told them not to touch something around the house & they want to let you know just how they feel about that. Some people may think this is cute in the beginning, but I assure you they are testing out who the boss & trying to dictate what they think vs. what you think. Establishing that you are the 1 in control from the beginning & not your toddler in those early years is not just important, its vital. You are the 1 who dictates because you are the parent & you know what is best for them. You were not placed in your position by accident.
As the years go on & children begin to interact even more with other kids, sometimes you might begin to notice your child tries to dominate play time. Maybe they always try to make people play the things they want to play, do things only their way, or they always seem to want a toy that someone else has & if the other child refuses to do what they want they throw fits or make threats ("Fine, I won't play with you anymore!", "You're not my friend anymore", or "I don't like you!"). These are natural things that even the sweetest child may deal with & test out as they start learning the proper & improper ways to interact with others, but as attentive parents we can take these opportunities to pull our children aside to help explain to them that "playing together" & "having friends" is a 2 way street. When we are playing with our kids it is always an excellent opportunity to model proper behaviors & the way they should deal with others. If you have something & your child wants the toy you have, don't always just give it to them. Sometimes have them practice waiting patiently & using their words to nicely ask if they may play with it when you are finished. When they want you to play with a certain thing sometimes to mix it up tell them you will play that for a few minutes but then you would like them to go play with something that you want. It is so important that a child learns to compromise & sometimes put others' desires before their own.
Another way to detour pushy behavior is to have a child "try the shoe on the other foot" & ask them how they would feel if someone was always being mean to them, a sorry loser, or always trying to control everything-empathy is a remarkable tool! Ask them if they would want a friend like that? I guarantee that child is going to say "No". People will only accept "overbearing" for so long until they are done with you & won't want to be your friend anymore.
It is important for children to learn to accept "no" & disappointment. Things are not always going to go the way they want & people are not always going to do things their way every time & the younger they learn to cope with this fact, the better. I do think that offering them a little sense of control here & there is good so they don't have issues "craving control". Small things like letting them pick out the movie the want to watch for movie night or choosing if they would rather wear the white shoes today or the blue shoes from time to time can give them just enough sense of power without making them "THE BOSS".
Being a leader & then being downright bossy is a fine line for any child to try & find conquer, but as parents we can be there to step in & help steer them in the right direction & help them find that balance!
|Ashy's 1st soccer practice EVER!|
|Aidy, soccer season #2|
|Best cheerleader ever!|
|Water break! |
|This angle makes|
his feet look so big for
being such a lil' dude
|The 1 & only time|
they will be in the back
of this car, lol
|My lil' bunch|
|Even "Z" had to get in|
on all of the action!
|Addie loves pockets!|
|Their new uniforms for cheer!|
|Her dream bed|
|Her dream bed|
|Their favorite section of the|
toy store, heck ya!
|Guess who is 5 months?!|
|Just measuring, lol|
|The best part about IKEA,|
the lil' door!