Emergency Attitude

Show your kids how being domineering pushes other kids away. It's the best cure for bossiness. For example, with a younger child, watch her closely on the playground, and when she starts trying to take charge, gently take her aside and point out how all her little buddies have moved to the pool. Ask her, "Do you know why you're all by yourself now?"With an older kid, you might attend a few of his athletic practices and watch his behavior from the sidelines. When his domineering attitude starts to surface—he insists they play only his favorite music and everyone else stops dancing and heads for the soft drinks—ask him if he understands the impact of his bossy ways.These kinds of interventions will help your kid give up trying to control everyone and everything around him and rely instead on compromise and cooperation to get what he wants.

Domineering kids are self-centered, spoiled, insensitive, and rude: they appoint themselves in charge and don't consider others' desires or feelings. These kids want things to go their way, so they see that it does: they decide the rules, activities, game plan, and schedule. They can bulldoze their way into a gathering and within minutes redirect everything so it goes their way. Because they act as if their opinions are always right, they rarely listen to their peers. Do take heed: their negative dictatorial traits can be misinterpreted as positive leadership capabilities. Do not be swayed: these kids aren't leaders; they are dictators who rarely consider the feelings and needs of their peers (or "subjects").

Besides, if their bossy ways are not tamed, it can do major damage to their character growth as well as peer rela-tionships.Though we don't want to stifle the self-confidence and high spirits of charismatic kids, we must replace a domineering bad attitude with the virtues of serenity, patience, and cooperation. So let's get started.

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