Little Miss Bossy

Parent’s question

My daughter is the youngest in her first grade class. She is spending all her time trying to get the other girls to like her. She is coming off as being bossy, and the other girls don’t like that. What can I do to help her adjust?

Sincerely,
Bossy’s Mom

Our answer

First of all, how does your daughter behave with family members and neighborhood children? Do you see a similar pattern of bossy behavior? One effective way to change it is by playacting different situations so she knows how to act appropriately.

Explain to your daughter that when she asks for things in a demanding way, the other girls will not want to play with her. Help her to learn how to rephrase what she wants in a nicer tone, like "May I play with you?" She needs to learn to ask and not demand. When she exhibits demanding behavior at home, ask her to rephrase what she wants.

Also, you need to explain to her that sometimes other children will not respond favorably to her nice requests. That’s OK. Bossy children need to be taught that they will not always get their way. In fact, it’s a lesson for all of us.

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