Author Topic: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?  (Read 1122 times)

Offline cj.

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HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« on: Jan 29, 2012, 06:51:15 PM »
Hi everyone,

I come to you all very embarrassed and ashamed that I have created a monster, I know all of the following is my fault, but I would love your ideas of ways I cant rectify my mistakes. I am leading by example now but could do with some words of wisdom of how best to achieve a loving and positive home.

My 5 year old son likes to be in control in all of the time! and we often have situations when he says negative things to other children........
A good example is when colouring he will say "you can colour red" or "no you can't do colouring as I want it all done neat your messy" or "I'm the fastest aren't I?" everything is about being too hard or too easy, "this is easy for me but hard for you".................I guess you will get the picture from these few quotes, but there a lots and lots more!
I know his traits have come from me and I hate myself for it  :-[
It is affecting him at school as his teacher has said that he is falling behind in class during the day as he is too busy bossing everyone about with the correct way things should be done ( his way!) and not getting to do his own work. Also he has said that some children will not play with him as he has to be in controll of what and how they play.

Help please, any idea's of good social skill games I can play with him to enforce positive behavior  ???

Watsonwaswrong

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 29, 2012, 07:20:28 PM »
If it helps, my best friend in nursery school was very bossy. She'd threaten that she wouldn't play with me unless I did x or z. I didn't grow up too submissive, and she didn't grow up too evil. In fact, I think she grew up to be quite pleasant with lots of friends.

So, I think with lots of traits, you eventually realize they're not going to benefit you and you automatically get socialized into acting better. By seeing his mother acting nicely and through seeing that his peers don't always appreciate his comments and way of interacting, he'll definitely get the hang of being less bossy.


Watsonwaswrong

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 29, 2012, 07:22:08 PM »
Comments like 'This is easy for me, but hard for you' show he has a good self esteem. In time he'll learn to just think those things rather than voicing them.  ;)

Offline cj.

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 29, 2012, 07:37:09 PM »
Comments like 'This is easy for me, but hard for you' show he has a good self esteem. In time he'll learn to just think those things rather than voicing them.  ;)

Yes I guess you could look at it that way, but his constant controlling manor and putting others down is horrible. My partner has a beautiful little girl who is 3, she is always happy to share, play whatever you want, go wherever you want behavior, a pure pleasure to be with and they love to play together, but you hear his little negative comments and "let's do this" or "no not like that like this" its horrible  :'(

TCB

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 29, 2012, 08:19:21 PM »
cj.'s partner checking in...

The thing is it it seems to go beyond being bossy. It does seem to verge on compulsion. I took him to the shops a week or so ago and he was disturbed by the fact a tag in a display wouldn't stick in the right place. He's always been extremely anal about things being 'right'. For example he has always struggled with socks being put on 'just right'... Luckily he's improved from the days of screaming the house down because his socks aren't right but the other day he was sat beside me putting on his socks and he was adjusting them and readjusting them in a a way that I would say was compulsive.
Get him into a simple game situation and he seems to be completely unable to stop himself from a running commentary on who's playing right, what the rules are, who's winning.
 

robiloo

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 29, 2012, 09:14:52 PM »
This sounds like me  :( - I have OCD and my compulsions are very similar... perhaps in a more adult world related way. I am the only that can clean because I'm the only one that will do it right, everything has to be in its place.. getting extremely irrationally mad/upset when things aren't how I've pre-designed them in my mind.

have you tried star charts? reinforcing the good behaviour? Maybe explaining to him what You feel is good and appropriate behaviour?  I still love praise very much as someone with OCD! Perfectionism is essential :D

But really, I do hope you find a way around it, there are times I have really struggled with compulsions and I've always found alternative distractions help it most.. breaking my habits and reinforcing different ways of doing things so things aren't repetitive and don't become a problem for me.

I'm not suggesting he has outright OCD or anything, but everyone has compulsions in one way or another.
« Last Edit: Jan 30, 2012, 09:18:34 AM by Robiloo »

Offline nickidee

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 29, 2012, 10:36:49 PM »
I'm not sure that what you describe is developmentally abnormal (for want of a better phrase).
Many young children display behaviour that could be described as OCD.
Many young children believe that there is a certain way that things *should/must* be done and become enraged if that is not the case. Sometimes we, as parents, are too quick to assume that such behaviour is unusual/deviant and should be labelled as such or have some form of managed intervention.
Yes - there are some children for which intervention may be necessary but there are many more children where it is a simply a case of them grappling with a need for containment and with concepts such as empathy (4/5 years being key here). In the latter instance, they may merely require help to comprehend that there are a number of different ways to do things; that it is a good thing to have an opinion on how something should be done but that rubbishing how someone else may choose to do something may make the other person feel sad; etc...
It is a big learning process for children at this age. And some children are essentially competitive and that is not bad - in fact, it can be a strength - particularly when it is mixed with a dose of empathy  :-*

DancingRaindeer

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 30, 2012, 03:09:20 AM »
Comments like 'This is easy for me, but hard for you' show he has a good self esteem. In time he'll learn to just think those things rather than voicing them.  ;)

Not necessarily. It can be driven by jealously or insecurity. Has he always been like this or did it start /get worse at a particular time? Sharing mummy with a new partner and child might be quite difficult. Does he get enough one to one time with you?

Other than that constant reinforcement and praise for sharing and caring. You can also get age appropriate books for how to be a good friend.

Don't know if that's any help   :-\





Offline cj.

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 30, 2012, 11:27:04 AM »
Another example at school today, he would not leave my side and play with his friends, they kept coming over and asking and he just said no, I asked why he wouldn't go and play with them and he said "your not allowed to run in the playground"

I think I need to sit down with him and be totally honest " I know mummy has in the past been more worried about the house being tidy, things done in a certain way (my way), rules, but now I know that's not important, love and happiness is!




Offline mistressd

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 30, 2012, 12:00:13 PM »
Hi cj,
My son, 4 half, sounds very similar. I have had comments from friends with kids and family members about the way he speaks to other kids in what they have said is a "I know best" way. Have to say he is like this most of the time and it's hard to see as I know it doesn't win him any friends at school. His teacher has said he tends to alienate other children with his bossiness and insistance that things are done "just so". We were also told that they think he may have Aspergers Syndrome ( Not saying yr son does!!) which we are keeping an open mind about but does fit with many of his traits. He finds transitions really hard, anything from having to change from PJs to clothes, is very sensitive and aversive to touch, and along with his bossiness is very one track with his few favourite topics of conversation ( trains, train timetables!)

Anyway i try and explain to him as much as poss that other kid dont like him being bossy. I try and get him to open up using book characters etc about how others mite be feeling when someone is bossy or talks about one thing all the time. Also the love of rule thing might just be developmental but if there any little ways/areas he is more flexible in Id try to encourage these. Finally have found art (which my son has little interest in) has been useful in getting his to be more expressive, so I do try and encourage him to draw etc which mite help? x

Offline El Stinko

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 31, 2012, 10:55:47 AM »
It does sound like the way several of the kids I know have been at that age. My nephew is four and a half and has seemed to instantly change from this non-competitive, sensitive little boy to suddenly it all being about who is best/fastest and why I can't catch him because he is four.  Far be it from me to be gender essentialist or whatever it's called but it does seem to be something that some little boys go through. I wonder if it's because they are suddenly surrounded by lots of other boys at school and that's what they all learn from each other? Or maybe it's something biological like that book "raising boys" suggests, that there's a testosterone surge at about 4? I don't know! My feeling is that it's just them trying to find their place in a world where everything seems to be a hierarchy of who can do what best. It has always been a passing phase in the kids I know, quite boring at the time though.

Offline Medusa

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 31, 2012, 11:10:29 AM »
^ There is no testosterone surge at four. That doesn't happen til about 9. But yes, I think it's a starting school thing. Lots of girls also go through a bossy phase at that age - mine did, 'playing teacher' and ordering people around - and I think it must be the way some children make sense of their first experience of being part of a 'herd', having to follow rules all day long, etc.

This is a 'normal' thing, I think, and quite different from an obsessive/compulsive need to order the world so as to reduce anxiety. Having watching my child (and not the bossy daughter, but rather the shy son) grow up with OCD, I'd say it's not always obvious which is which. I would say, though, that if you have genuine concerns that your child might have OCD rather than just-started-school-bossiness, *get an assessment & appropriate support*. It's not something you can deal with using just 'common sense'.
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Online merce

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 31, 2012, 11:33:20 AM »
Plenty of controlling six-year old behaviour here too. It doesn't sound from your post like you are concerned this is abnormal, more that you want ways round it, so is it worth thinking about how you might satisfy his need to control in small ways? eg I play school and get told what to do (I get to be the TA - argh!) for half an hour, or let him direct some other activity. Other helpful things here include offering more control about food, new responsibilities, a part in decision making and so on. Little changes in domestic routine can make a big difference.

Offline cj.

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Re: HELP !!! How to stop your child being bossy?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 31, 2012, 12:35:08 PM »
Thank you all for the good ideas.

I do think that he has copied my old behavior of control and wanting things done right (my way)! I hope with me now mixing it up with little things like eating in the lounge, on the sofa will help him see that the world does not fall a part and he might start to relax and have fun. I need him to see that things are not done the same by all and that different ways from just mine are still OK i.e when my partner picked them up she brought them all home and switched the hall light on and he commented "Mummy doesn't use that light" its like a compulsion he has to say something.