Bossy Children

Teaching Your Child to Have a Voice

To say that children are weird is a bit of an understatement. You can often look at the behaviours of children, try to think back to your own childhood, and almost always insist that you were nothing like them. 

This is the complex of adults. We were never that young even though, of course, we all were at some point in time. We all were children. We all were teenagers. And now we are all trying our hardest to be adults. 

However, the children of today have a lot more going on then when we were kids. They have never lived in a time without smartphones and wireless Internet. They have never lived in a time without Netflix and gaming systems. They've never lived in a time where you can't simply download every movie, television show, or song that you want to enjoy. 

And it wasn't that long ago when these things weren't so readily available. Prior to 2000, kids grew up with outside play, rented movies, and flip phones (if there were cell phones around at all). They may have been simpler times, from a technology standpoint, but kids will always be kids. 

And what do you do when your child has a bossy friend? A friend that strives to be in charge every time they play? A friend that likes to control the situations and when he/she does not get their way will resort to bullying tactics?

It is a difficult situation to be in. Your child views this person as a friend, but you see the bullying and the bratty behaviour clearly. Your child wants to still play with this friend but is also hurt by the way they are acting. 

It's a tough place. Kids do not have the emotional maturity to shrug off the friend and move on. They can see the injustice in one person always being in charge, one person bossing the other around, and having to do things their way or no way at all. They see the lack of fairness. 

So, what do you say to your child when they come into the house upset about the way their friend is acting? You definitely don't say the first thing that comes to your mind. For me, it's to tell the friend to bugger off, or often times more colourful language than that. But you can't do that.

So, I usually just settle for telling her that if they aren't being nice, don't play with them. As an adult, this seems like simple logic. But to a child it really isn't. Because the want to play and be involved and included outweighs the injustice of the other child's actions. 

This usually leads to a few minutes of venting about how things aren't fair and then going right back outside to play. It doesn't make any sense to adults. Why spend time with someone who treats you like crap? But friendship is a completely different thing to children. They don't use it for the same things that adults do. They aren't looking for someone to confide in. They aren't looking for someone to be supportive and offer advice. They simply want someone to spend time with and partake in their games. 

Things are definitely simpler when you are a child. Growing up complicates everything. 

All I can do as a parent is continue to teach your child how to behave. All you can do is ensure they know what is the right way to treat other people. Beyond that, you have no real control over the children your kids play with. You just need to hope that you've taught your child well and that they will lead by example. 

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Bossy Children
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