When my daughter reached two years of age, I noticed that she started to have her way to do things. She started to command us and do things for her. And when we tried to teach her, she would insist what she knows. My husband would sometimes complain, she does not want to be taught! Even her playmates were her victims. She will only lend the toys that she wants to share. If her playmates touch other toys, she will grab the toys and insist her chosen toys. What a dictator, isn’t? And if we didn’t do things her way, she will use her ultimate weapon, her tears! She would cry as if she’s the most pitiful being in the whole world! Sometimes, I can’t help it but to go insane 😀
Then I remember the stages of child development I learned from my Psychology subject way back in college. Every child will pass through the egocentric stage in which the child perceives that the universe only revolves around him/her. This makes them feel superior over other people around them. This bossy behavior is very common among two and three year old toddlers but we should not allow our kids to indulge in this behavior for too long, otherwise we will be sorry in the future.
In the case of my daughter, if it possible, I allow her to have a choice over things. Like for example on Sundays, I allow her to choose what dress to wear and what shoes to put on. When it comes to her snack, I ask her what juice she likes to drink and I give her at least two choices of food to eat. Even when she defecate, we ask her who she wants to wash her ass (very seldom I didn’t get the honor :-/). And if she asks for something, we always wait for her to say please and remind her to say thank you when she gets her want. For tougher situations, like she’s doing something not right and after several warnings, she is still doing it, I will ask her to choose between a belt or she will stop her wrong doings. Not that I am frightening her but I want her to realize that disobedience always resulted to punishment and obedience yield blessings.
Here are some other tips to conquer this stage of bossiness. (source: whattoexpect.com – bossiness)
- Provide enough attention. Your child’s demands may be a plea for more time together.
- Give back some control. Offering your child choices (“Do you want to wear the pink skirt or purple one?”) makes her feel empowered.
- Boost her self-esteem. Ask for her help with simple chores like putting laundry in the hamper or tearing lettuce for a salad, and offer lots of praise when the task is complete. That way, she’ll feel important without having to order someone else around.
- Reinforce social skills. Make “please” a part of your child’s vocabulary, teach her to take turns, and encourage empathy for others (“How would you feel if Susie grabbed your doll?”).
- Lead by example. Are you constantly bossing your child around or making her hurry up or wait? Treat your toddler the way you’d like to be treated, Mom.
- Don’t be a doormat. When her demands and/or tone of voice are out of bounds, calmly let her know it and do not oblige.
Are you on the same situation? How do you hande your child’s bossiness?