Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Talk about being too bossy.

What you can do

Help your child understand the difference between bossing people around and guiding them in an activity. Show him how to make suggestions rather than demands. Talk about how being bossy can alienate kids and get him in trouble with adults.

What you can say

“Jacob, you’re probably way better at these games than everyone else in the family. And you understand the rules better too. But your cousins are going to get very tired of having you tell them what the rules are every two minutes.”

“It’s important to understand the basic rules. But people won’t be all that interested in playing with you if you keep spouting the rules all the time. It’s just a game, and everyone wants to enjoy it.”

“It’d be great if you could show them some of your favorite things about the game. Maybe make a suggestion or two. But try to ease up on being the rule police.”

Why this will help

For kids who struggle in school and rarely score a win there, it’s very tempting to try to set the rules in the few areas where they’re confident about their knowledge. But while it may feel good to be in control for once, other kids or family members may become resentful.

Understanding this can help your child use his knowledge more wisely. Practicing with you can help him see how to use his skills to make the activity fun and successful for everyone.

103Found this helpful
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