Ways To Manage Bossy Kids Behavior
When we label our children bossy, we’re doing the same thing we do every time we use an adjective to characterize a person: we’re reducing the entire experience of life to a single word that doesn’t reflect anything other than the present instant. When we label children, we overlook the most essential element of the adjective we used, which is the reason why they behave in the manner they do.
Everything we do, you see, is a strategy to meet our wants. Everything we say, everything we think, everything we do is in the hopes of ultimately getting our wants satisfied. And our wants have nothing to do with anybody else’s, so when we believe a bossy child is attempting to dominate us, his siblings, the surroundings, or anything else that’s going on, what we’re actually seeing is that child trying to manage his own life.
It’s because your child is begging you to let him lead. If he continually bosses you and his siblings about, if he opposes all of your demands, if he doesn’t appear to be able to follow, it’s because he’s begging you to let him lead.
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Managing A Bossy Child
It’s called a necessity, but it’s not actually one. Controlling is a technique that aims to fulfil our demands for autonomy, choice, freedom, and a variety of other things. These three requirements are as basic as the requirements for oxygen, food, and water. When you think about it, what is it that mankind is fighting for if not freedom and choice? What is the point of all these conflicts if not the freedom to be who we want to be, wherever we want to be?
Bossy Kids Feel Out Of Control
Consider the last time you weren’t able to accomplish something you wanted to do. Did it make you happy?
I was arranging Ilay’s birthday party last week. I knew exactly what time each duty had to be completed by in order for everyone and everything to be ready on time. Then there were the unexpected visitors. That was the end of my strategy, I knew. I was irritated and outangerd at the same time. Not just because I now have to cook late into the night (which might have been my original plan had I known we were having people), but also because no one asked me, and because this change of plans was forced upon me.
Bossy Kids Have Unmet Needs
We are ruled by unmet wants, which shape our ideas and actions. When we hold a helpless life experience over an extended period of time, it is certain to have an impact on us. And, let’s face it, childrens don’t have much influence over their life. They don’t actually have a say in how things turn out. And if they have this sense of impotence, they will use all of their bossiness, resistance, and disobedience as a tactic to have their demands for freedom, autonomy, and choice satisfied.
Handling The Bossy Child
Remember how we mentioned everything is based on a strategy? If your child is bossy, he is pleading with you to let him be in charge, to give him authority over his life. He just doesn’t know how to ask properly for it (which is why telling him to be kind doesn’t help).
We must first accept a given behaviour before we can modify it. Accept that our childrens life experience has shifted from empowered to helpless at some point along the route and that this is the explanation for the change in behaviour. And it’s the need, not the behaviour, that we need to address if we want to see another shift, a positive shift.
Give Them The Power Of Choice
Everything that doesn’t have a direct impact on your life, such as the colour of their spoon, their clothes, what they eat, drink, and where they go, is something you may delegate to your child. Another tip: make sure you accept all of the options you provide.
Give them Work
If you can pinpoint when your child gets bossy, as well as which chores or people he is bossy about, you’ll know where he needs to be empowered. To feel in charge of the situation, choose a unique task he can accomplish in that region.
Make Everyday Tasks Fun
Sure, we need to go in the shower right now, there’s no doubt about that. However, we can get there by posing as dinosaurs or horses! Which option do you prefer?
Hide The Choices In The Refusal
Right, we won’t be able to enjoy that food right now, but we can have an apple or a banana instead. Which would you prefer?
I know this one will be difficult for many readers, but if your child says he isn’t chilly and doesn’t want to wear a jacket, that means he isn’t cold and doesn’t want to wear a jacket. Cold is never preferred above comfort since it does not fulfil anyone’s requirements. Unless, of course, this has already become a typical power struggle, and your child feels compelled to show to you that he understands better than you how he feels. Stop if this is the case. He understands how he feels, and this is not a battle you want to get into. Believe me when I say that children who are trusted to know how they feel will never refuse a hat and a jacket if they are chilly.
Ask Them To Help You
Nothing can motivate a child more than being asked to assist by the person he loves more than anybody else in the world. Request a drink of water, your phone, or the newspaper; everything and anything your child can accomplish for you, ask him to do. And thank him profusely for his assistance.
Let Them Choose Their Words
Our greatest intentions to educate children how to be the finest people they can be on this earth frequently lead us to guide their speech. I understand that you want to educate your child to say sorry, thank you, and please, but if you order these words, they will never come from the childrens heart, and they will forever make the child believe that other people’s feelings are more important to you than his. “Wow, Aunty Brenda brought you a present!” What a sweetheart! “Would you want to express your gratitude?” is always preferable to “thank you.”
Once your child regains control of his life, once he understands that he is trusted with his thoughts and feelings, once he feels secure to be himself, the bossiness will fade away and become another one of those periods you fondly remember.
Remember that nothing makes a person happier than doing good to and for those we care about.
What You Should Do Next:
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- Easily get kids to listen – the FIRST time. No yelling or reminding…not even once!
- Put an end to daily power struggles. Bedtime became a breeze, and all the dawdling, chore wars, sibling rivalry, and mealtime meltdowns disappeared.
- Reduce backtalk by HALF! It’s simple once you know the secrets of these two ‘buckets.’
- Say goodbye to punishments that DON’T work. There’s a 5-step formula that works WAYYY better than time-outs.
- Feel amazing, confident, and empowered as a parent, every day. I NEVER go to bed feeling guilty anymore! (Okay, well maybe sometimes…’ mom guilt’ is still a thing.)