Diagnosis

Watch and listen to your kid's domineering behaviors more closely for the next few days and ask yourself these questions.

What. In particular, what bossy things does your child say and do that bother you most? The more specific you are at identifying his domineering behaviors, the better able you will be at altering his attitude. Here are behaviors to consider. Mark those your child is displaying.

□ Doesn't listen to others' ideas

□ Always wants things to go her way

□ Rarely negotiates or alters her desires to accommodate others

□ Tells others what to do and expects them to comply

□ Tells others the game plan

□ Makes up the agenda or sets the rules

□ Assumes people will do what she wants

□ Hasn't a clue that other people feel pushed around

Who. Tune into which individuals your kid is bossiest toward. For instance, does he tend to be more domineering with siblings, younger kids, the babysitter, a neighborhood group, classmates, teammates, or even you or your spouse? Does he display the same domineering ways toward everyone or just certain individuals? What might be the reason?

When. Is there a particular time of day, week, or month he is bossier? Is there a reason? For instance, might he be tired, hungry, needing attention, or feeling slighted or not listened to?

Where. Are there certain places he is more likely to be bossy (at school or day care, home, play group, Grandma's)? Why?

Why. Now consider why your child has become so bossy and feels the need to control others.Ask yourself why your kid needs to be so dictatorial. There are many reasons your child is using this behavior. Here are a few to consider:

□ Have you or others been bossing your kid? Do you live in a family culture where there is a pecking order of domination? Might she be mimicking the patterns of behavior of those around her?

□ Is your kid insecure, or does she have low self-esteem?

□ Must she need the sense of control?

□ Do peers reject her because she lacks social skills?

□ Does your kid have a need for perfectionism and always having things go her way?

□ Have her ideas, feelings, and needs been frequently ignored?

□ Might she need to structure activities to temper her chance of failing in front of others?

□ Is she frequently dominated or bullied by others and attempting to even out the scales?

□ Does she not know more cooperative ways of behaving?

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