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(35 Posts)
Mandymoo Sat 23-Apr-05 20:10:40


DD is nearly 2.5 and has gradually become VERY bossy. Whilst it is funny sometimes (she literally tells everyone what to do) i need to know how to handle it. I dont want her thinking she can always have her own way but i dont want to be constantly telling her NO. Apparently i used to be a bossy child ( i dont believe it myself!) so will she just grow out of it???

WideWebWitch Sat 23-Apr-05 20:14:48

Give in on the things that don't matter, pick your battles wisely, explain that she's allowed to ask you for things but she is not in charge, you are. That's what I'd do anyway. What kind of things does she boss about?

Mum2girls Sat 23-Apr-05 20:15:17

Yes, she will - sooner or later she'll come into contact with other kids who will either argue or ignore her (bless her) and that will sort it out. I think it will help her tho' if you keep reinforcing the message at home that it's not always the right way to behave....

morningpaper Sat 23-Apr-05 20:18:42

This is difficult - mine is the same (and same age). With my dd, it started after she started getting pushed around a lot at nursery. She is REALLY small (off the charts) and I think that being bossy is her way of standing up for herself with her peers, because she literally goes flying every couple of minutes when she plays with her friends. So I've tried not to criticise her TOO much about it - just told her when she's being rude. I don't mind her being bossy with other children (because she'll learn soon enough how to interact in a productive way), but with grown-ups she needs some manners. Does that make sense?

Mandymoo Sat 23-Apr-05 20:25:46

Hi, thanks all
WWW - she bosses other children and yells "NO" with such an angry little face. I suppose i just dont want her to push her little friends away. She says things like "you stay right here mummy and dont move" or "you sit there" but really shouts it and frowns. I try to let her win a few battles and then stand my ground on the the major things (like holding my hand in a car park but letting her get away without brushing her hair of a morning - that sort of thing). MORNINGPAPER - what you said makes a lot of sense. How do i handle it infront of other children tho????? XX

bossykate Sat 23-Apr-05 20:27:50

i think all/many toddlers and preschoolers do this. i have found a good idea is to work on language, e.g. "get me a drink!" = bossy and very grating but "mummy, please may i have a drink?" = polite little angel

morningpaper Sat 23-Apr-05 20:28:20

Mandy: If parents are in hearing shot (!) I say "Don't boss X please, be polite" which is usually enough. If parents aren't there (at playgroup or whereever), I just leave them to it. I know that she will probably get bonked on the head by them as soon as my back's turned - I tend to leave them to sort themselves out as much as possible. Not sure if that's the right approach, but I don't want to ALWAYS tell her not to be bossy because a lot of it is just her trying to find her place socially I think.

bossykate Sat 23-Apr-05 20:29:13

now i've only got to give him "the look" and raise my eyebrows to get this!

morningpaper Sat 23-Apr-05 20:29:40

My daughter doesn't tend to be bossy about things like me doing things for her (get me a drink!) - it just tends to be during play; "mummy sit her and read this book" in a sort of 30-year-old teacher's voice...

bossykate Sat 23-Apr-05 20:30:24

oh i get that too, but the concept still works.

morningpaper Sat 23-Apr-05 20:32:48

I think I'm worried that if I slam her too much for being bossy with friends/during play then she'll not have any resources to deal with her peers socially. A few months ago she was coming home and saying 'X hit me today' or 'X was mean to me' and I told her that she had to say "No" if people were being mean to her. It all started around then. I DO want her to stand up for herself but physically she's no match for her peers and I think this is how she is dealing with it ATM...

Mandymoo Sat 23-Apr-05 20:36:06

lol - glad its not just me going through this then!

Morningpaper - what you said about her finding her place socially totally makes sense. DD is an only child and i suppose i just have a thing about her being bossy and spoilt. Thats my problem tho - i have to deal with that. I am intending on having other children (my god - i must be mad!!!). I know deep down that most children will go through this but i guess i just need reassurance that she wont become some bossy mad women!! (Like her mummy!) XX

bossykate Sat 23-Apr-05 20:36:35

a very wise and good friend of mine once told me that if they are "bossy" or forthright or whatever, it can be mitigated by teaching gentleness, language modification etc. but if they don't have a spark of gumption, nothing you do will give it to them.

long winded way of saying i agree with you mp re wanting our children to be able to stand up for themselves.

aloha Sat 23-Apr-05 20:38:14

It's a phase IMO, and I think it's just normal and natural (if sometimes really annoying) experimenting with their power and finding its limits socially. We all like feeling powerful I suppose and having our own way. It's quite amazing how confident they are considering how small they are! I agree that they shouldn't be allowed to boss adults around, but of course, no matter how much they talk bossily we don't have to obey. With ds we have made it a joke - he's Bossy Bella (from Tweenies) and it makes him laugh. He says "I'm being bossy, aren't I?"

bossykate Sat 23-Apr-05 20:38:52

seems bossy in a female would be called "leadership" in a male - in later life. i think it is ok if you have a sparky, feisty girl - smooth out a few corners and perhaps you have a future pm on your hands

Mandymoo Sat 23-Apr-05 20:39:40

I suppose i should see the positive and like the fact that she has a spark about her and she stands up for herself - sometimes i cant help but laugh - she just seems so grown up!

aloha Sat 23-Apr-05 20:41:15

I think girls can often be bossy (or seem bossy) just because they are more adept socially - they want to interact more than boys do. Does that make any sense? I know what I mean!

bossykate Sat 23-Apr-05 20:41:29

sorry to bang on but the language thing has made all the difference to us. plus it is a positive feedback loop - the more politely i am asked, the better vibe i give ds, and i am much more likely to do what he wants, within reason. works for adult/adult interactions too of course.

Mandymoo Sat 23-Apr-05 20:42:27

LOL - you never know!!

bossykate Sat 23-Apr-05 20:42:27

dunno, aloha, i have a bossy boy who loves interaction.

aloha Sat 23-Apr-05 20:42:35

Oh, yes, a few pleases go a long way.

aloha Sat 23-Apr-05 20:44:45

Well, ds can be bossy (hence 'Bossy Bella") but there is a sort of 'hands on hips, everybody do this my way' which seems more female. But I don't mean this as a criticism of girls, more that *in general* they tend to be more verbal and more interested in social dynamics than boys or at least, get there at an earlier age.
Having said that, ds never stops talking.

Mandymoo Sat 23-Apr-05 20:44:57

Bossykate - can you tell me more about the positive language thing please???

Enid Sat 23-Apr-05 20:46:58

my god, my dd2 is like this all the time, dd1 was like it too.

I never give it a second thought. She can have what she can have and she can have a tantrum over things she can't have - thats how it works chez Enid. I don't think bossiness is at all a bad thing (I wouldn't being Mrs Bossy myself). Its different to being spoilt (horrid).

wise words from www.

morningpaper Sat 23-Apr-05 20:47:22

Absolutely, she can be bossy with her peers but I don't do feck all without a long string of pleases. Often I make her say "Please gorgeous mummy, light of my life". (Actually true, but probably shouldn't admit to that...)

Also it's got to be "Please may I..." because "Please can I ..." gets the response, "I don't know, can you?" - Lordy I have turned into the evil Maths teacher I had when I was eight...

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