Dealing with a Bossy Daughter


How do you handle a young child who bosses other kids around?

Q: My 7-year-old daughter is often quite bossy to her sister and other playmates. I know I should not get involved, but it is difficult for me to keep my mouth shut when I hear her being so rude! Your advice?

A: Ideally, you should stay out of it. On the other hand, you do not need to apologize for the fact that your daughter's bad manners bother you terribly, in which case you should do something to solve your problem. I recommend invoking the "Do Not Disturb Mom's Peace" rule.

Simply tell your daughter that although you think she is often rude to her sister and friends, you're not going to get involved in her disputes or relationships with other children. However, if her bossing other children around happens to get under your skin, you will send or take the children home (or separate her from her sister) and confine her to her room for the remainder of the day with a considerably early bedtime.

If you are ruthless about enforcing this, it should take no more than a few weeks for her to develop much better social etiquette.

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