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How do you discourage bratty and bossy behaviour in a 2.5 yr old?

(11 Posts)
BettyBi0 Tue 14-Jun-16 14:58:38

DD is nearly 2.5 and lately we've had some issues with bad behaviours she has learned from a particular couple of girls at her nursery. The latest ones are grabbing things and sneering "ner ner na ner ner" or her objecting to other people joining in or not joining in when she is singing endless frickin rounds of doe a deer

Granted neither of these things are dangerous but they are really annoying and rude. How do you stop your children from doing similar? How do you try and explain the concept of being rude/bratty? DD is quite advanced with talking etc and gets praised to high heaven by family. It's almost as if she expects a round of applause for everything these days and much as I love her, I'd hate to think I'd given her a case of "terminal specialness" if you know what I mean.

My current approach is saying "that's not very kind!" a lot. This doesn't appear to be working at all. Help!

KatyN Tue 14-Jun-16 15:30:30

if my son isn't being kind (4.5) we just say we don,t want to play with him. It tends to stop mean behaviour pretty quickly with the additional bonus if teaching him he doesn't have to play with mean children. It's quite a skill to not play with someone, he found it really hard at first especially in unfamiliar spaces, I think it's easier T nurses where there are lots of children to play with

BettyBi0 Tue 14-Jun-16 16:26:49

So do you just kind of walk away saying "I don't want to play if you are not being kind"?

How old do they have to be to understand the "if" bit?

zzzzz Tue 14-Jun-16 16:30:41

You say "don't be so rude" and you show that you dislike it.

Kiwiinkits Tue 14-Jun-16 23:20:30

With kids this age you get a lot of mileage if you emphasise the positive things she does and reward that with a compliment. So if you see her asking others to join in, or sharing well, or whatever, then notice it. "DD I love the way you shared with your friend! You are kind!"

Negative feedback should be saved for the really egregious offences. Like throwing food, hitting, spitting or whatever. If you repeatedly tell her that she's rude or bratty or whatever then she'll likely internalise that and think it's part of her character. She may even start living up to the 'brat' label you've given her. Whereas if you tell her that she is polite, a sharer, a good girl or whatever, then she'll take that on board. Kids often become what we expect them to be.

Kiwiinkits Tue 14-Jun-16 23:22:17

A simple, "no we don't grab", is better than a long-winded explanation. Keep any instructions to less than 10 words.

KatyN Wed 15-Jun-16 08:01:26

Yes that's what I do, but I like the other suggestions too. I never really got the praising the positive side until I heard a woman in the supermarket say 'I love it when you listen' when her children clearly weren't. It worked with her children really quickly so you could try 'I love it when you share' etc...

BettyBi0 Wed 15-Jun-16 10:19:21

Thanks. Generally I'm on the praise the positive side but I worry she is a bit over praised already sometimes.

Like the sound of "I love it when you..." I'm going to try that next.

Good point about keeping instructions short. Sometimes I almost forget that she is so young as her vocabulary is pretty big but underneath she still has all the same simple processes as other 2.5 yr olds. Just because she can say long sentences doesn't mean she can process long instructions I guess

prettywhiteguitar Wed 15-Jun-16 17:56:19

On repeat;
kind hands, no snatching, share please, for the next year

WombOfOnesOwn Wed 15-Jun-16 18:07:51

Do remember that "bossy" is a word used almost exclusively to describe little girls, while little boys are often regarded as being normal or even leader-like for behavior that gets girls described that way. I could tell before I even opened this thread based on the terms you used to describe your child that she was a girl.

Be totally honest: would you consider the exact same behavior equally intolerable in a boy?

thescruffiestgiantintown Wed 15-Jun-16 22:55:21

YY womb.

DD is the same age and can be pretty assertive. Also highly verbal. I'm just straightforward with her. I do a lot of "how would it make you feel if..." and that works well.

Wrt praise. I do praise DD, but I prefer to thank her. So "thank you for tiding up so quickly" rather than "well done! You tidied!" etc. Since I started this I find that she thanks me a lot more too, which is pleasant. And it helps her form an image of herself as a helpful, kind person (I agree with the PP who said that calling a child rude just helps them internalise that self image...)

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