A bossy child can be a walking test for an adult’s patience. Even though you have to admire the child for knowing what he wants and being able to verbalize it at such an early age, the bossy behavior itself is quite unhealthy and should be changed as soon as possible. This kind of behavior, if left unchecked, could be brought even into adulthood and this could have a negative effect on his social and professional life. As an adult you should be able to correct this behavior at an early age before it becomes a permanent habit. Try these tested parenting tips.
Parenting tip # 1: Do not be affected by his bossiness
You may notice that a child who is bossy is one who loves to give orders. You’ll see him do this with his playmates, teachers, classmates and even his parents. If your child tries to get bossy with you by barking orders, do not follow him. Remember that acquiescing to his orders may be seen as submission on your part and he will just get more bossy. The correct way to act is to tell him that you won’t do what he tells you unless he asks politely. Do this in your normal voice, and try to explain it to him. Shouting at your child could only aggravate the situation.
Parenting tip # 2: Do not humiliate your child
Humiliation is never an effective method for resolving or correcting bad behavior and the same holds true for a child who is bossy. If your child gets bossy, for example, in a party or a family reunion, do not reprimand him in front of people. Take him to a place where you can be alone or not within earshot of other people and then talk to him. Do not shout at him or correct him in front of people. If taking him aside is too conspicuous and will be an embarrassing situation already for your child you can signal him to stop. Then just talk to him in private.
Parenting tip # 3: Show him who’s boss
There should be no debate on who is boss. You should be able to assert yourself and show your child that you are the boss and no one else. Show him that you will not be bossed around and that you will not follow him if he orders you around. You have to do this in a calm manner and never raise your voice. You can show your authority by talking firmly, never by shouting. Another way to show your child that you are the boss is by firmly implementing the house rules. Strict enforcement of your rules is a great way of showing who has the authority at home. But do temper it. By exerting too much parental control, you also feed into the child’s belief that one should have to be bossy to be effective. If you think that your child’s request will be good for him or won’t do any harm, it is okay to say yes.
Parenting tip # 4: Give your child your attention
Many child psychologists say that bossiness is a manifestation of a child’s feeling that he has no sense of security or does not feel affection from his parents. The solution here is very simple, give your child more attention. Remember that attention is not the same as presence. You may be in the same room together but if you don’t pay attention to your child and instead just do your own thing then it’s the same as being apart from your child.
Give your child your undivided attention by participating in different bonding activities with him. You can play games or read a book together. The key is to make the child feel that he is important and loved. This also means giving him positive reinforcement if he does something right. Praise him when he does something good, and teach him how to say things in a respectful and tactful manner. You can also try these tested parenting tips on bonding activities that teach values.
Photo from metroparent.com