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Thread: What do I do?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default What do I do?

    Hi,
    My 4 1/2 year old daughter has always been a bossy child. Even when she was 3 months old, if she didn't get what she wanted she would turn her head away and not look at you.

    Once she learned to speak, she was always telling us what to do and not do. We don't do what she tells us (usually) unless she uses her manners (ie please, excuse me etc) and is polite. As a result she doesn't boss us too much anymore.



    This morning we were called in to her preschool teachers office to discuss her behaviour, in particular her bossiness of the other children and how they don't like it and so won't be friends with her. No one wants to hear that their child has no friends, especially when you overhear children saying that they don't like your daughter and won't be their friend (I just want to cry when I think about it).

    My question is, what can I do to try and get her to not be so bossy with her peers and get her to be more considerate of their feelings? I had thought about setting up some 1 on 1 play dates, at the other child's house where they are on their turf and not so likely to back down when my DD tries to boss them around. Aside from this I am at a loss as to what to do. We have been told that if she doesn't get over it, then the chance of her ever being able to make friends as she gets older will be nearly impossible.

    Anyone experienced and dealt with this problem?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    hI,

    I'm sorry don't have any experience with these kind of issues but I just wanted to say I hope you get someone in here who can help.

    Maybe you could sit her down and explain that just like she doesn't like people bossing her around and other people don't like it either. Maybe you could start some sort of star chart rewards program for not bossing people around.

    Don't let people tell you she'll never have any friends I think thats a load of crap!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Hi Kirsten, I can hear your pain! I too have a bossy child. She is 9 now and looking back, she's been bossy since about 4 years old. I wasnt' aware of it until year one when two friends said to thier mum they didn't want to play at our house.
    Unfortunately I don't have any straightforward advice. DD is still bossy and basically I dont' let her have friends over as she seems to be alot more bossy at our place. I have also had to let her learn herself. She has never had a "best" friend and seems to change friends like underwear. It's upsetting but I really have tried everything and that's just the way she is. It's extremely sad as she's a lovely child, but she just can't help telling people what to do. I guess she learns from her parents!
    Strategies we are using at the moment is affirmations: I am kind and confident. We also talk about how it feels when we have people bossing us.
    To be totally honest, I don't really know what to do, I've seen counsellors, talked to people etc. It really involves changing her whole attitude which is very hard. It starts with me I know and that is the hard part. I am a control freak, but being an adult I am also able to use only when necessary (family). Children can't differentiate.
    Im sorry Im not much more help, I will look forward to other answers xox

  4. #4

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    I am with you on this one! DD2 has had a lot of trouble with this as she is quite bossy. It started mostly when she was in Yr1. We have talked to her a lot about what makes a good friend and how it feels when people are mean to her and would she like to be treated the way she has treated others. Its very hard and for you its even harder to explain to a 4 yr old.
    I would try to notice every positive behaviour and actually say what was good about it. "that was very nice of you to let X chose the game, that is being a good friend" Actually discuss with her what is positive and negative about her behaviours and why they are upsetting to other children.
    Erin is much better now at age 9 but still doesn't have a "best" friend and seems to flit from friend to friend.
    I undertand your heartache, I cried when Erin's teacher told me another parent had complained, the fact that I teach at the school makes it even harder.
    If I thin of anything else I will post again, hugs to you, you are a great mum cause you admit there's a problem and are dealing with it, so many mums I see at work blame evryone elses child but their own.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the advice MrsMac and Megg.
    I am trying to do the positive reinforcement with her and set up a play date last week with a preschool friend. I explained the situation to her mother and she was quite happy to help.
    It was amazing to actually watch the behaviour first hand and to see how the other child reacted when DD was bossy. When I suggested another way that DD could approach the situation, the other child reacted in a completely different manner. We keep trying to explain that that is not how we treat our friends etc etc and are trying to encourage her to not be so bossy with her little brother. Hopefully with time she will learn that she can't be so bossy if she wants people to be her friends.
    The funny thing is, I spoke to my mum about it and she said that I was exactly the same as a child. I had a best friend in primary school, but when I hit high school I never really had too many friends. I know how much heartache this caused me, and I don't want that for DD.
    Hopefully a combination of teaching and time will see the problem reduced. I am realistic though. She was bossy from the time she came out of the womb and so to a certain extent it is in her nature.
    THanks again. Nice to know that others out there have storng willed independant daughters as well!

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