When the kids are out of school we often get a very different look at them. Because we’re simply spending more time with them and watching them with their friends we get a more complete picture of what makes our particular child tick.
Every child has a unique personality. This is the beauty of our kids and sometimes the challenge.
My mini parenting guide, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments addresses these differences.
I have always known that each child is a unique individual. I looked at my two who are as different as night and day. Then I consider my siblings and we are a textbook example of different.
But, now I have three grandchildren, all the same age and the differences from their births has been striking.
The result is the e-parenting mini guide, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments.
So, in this newsletter I am going to give you an excerpt from the book.
If you enjoy it, the rest of the book is available in the store on my website.
My way or the highway
Your eight-year-old daughter Tiffany has her friends Allyson and Deidre over to play. The visit has been going well for the last hour but now you can hear the sounds of distress. Tiffany is ordering her friends around; she is letting them know what they will play and how they will play it. Her friends are not happy and decide to leave.
After they leave, Tiffany is in tears and trying to figure out what happened.
You know what happened — you have seen it before. read more…..
Tiffany is a bossy little girl. At first you were pleased to see her demonstrating her independence when she made decisions. She was not so much bossy as confident. And that’s good news. A strong-willed child is less likely to become an adolescent who mindlessly follows the pack. She will be able to say no and direct the other kids to positive activities.
We want children to assert themselves, to stand up for their beliefs and decisions, and we’re pleased when we see that our child is becoming a leader.
But when they cross the line — and it’s a fuzzy line at best — and become bossy, the dynamic changes. They are not assertive or leaders. They are annoying, bossy and soon friendless. It’s a tough call for parents.
Once Tiffany has calmed down, discuss what you saw and heard. Stay calm and don’t be accusatory. Just say, “Tiffany, I heard you say ‘Allyson, you are going to be the Mother and you are cooking dinner, Deirdre you are the child. I am the father and I am just coming home from work’. I also heard them say they wanted to change the game but you said, ‘No, way.’’
“How did they respond when you told them how to play the game?” It may take a few conversations before she can acknowledge that there might be a better way to plan games with her friends. Once she’s ready to listen, help her learn the difference between a bossy statement and one that is assertive but respectful.
Enroll her in a team activity such as hockey, soccer or Girl Guides. Take the time to choose an activity with an adult leader who is experienced and comfortable working with children. In such an atmosphere she will learn how to take her place, to work with the other kids and still develop into a leader of the group but not one who is bossy.
Ask yourself, too, if she may be adopting the manner of someone who is bossing her around. Does she have an older sibling, babysitter or parent (you?) who is bossy? Talk to that person about adjusting his language to be polite and clear rather than bossy. When asking your children to do something, offer choices or use the when/then approach. Instead of, “Get your jacket on right now!” you can say, “You have a choice; you can wear your jacket or your sweater. Which will it be?” Or you can say, “When you have your jacket on you can choose a book to bring with you to the doctor’s office.”
Sometimes a child who’s being bossy is just trying to assert her independence. Support that need by giving her opportunities to be responsible. Maybe it’s time to allow her to get herself up in the morning or to take on more complex chores. Taking on some extra responsibilities will help her to feel more competent in ways that are positive and also helpful to the family.
If she has a younger sibling, be careful how much you ask her to care for her little brother. She may learn to boss him around and then carry on with her friends.
There is a big difference between being an assertive leader and being bossy. That being said, it’s difficult to teach a bossy kid how to change her approach. Trust your instincts. If she is speaking in a way that makes you uncomfortable, help her learn how to re-frame her comments and requests.
You will then have raised a child who will be able to speak in a way that is clear and respectful.
You may be interested in the comments about this book from two highly respected parenting authors and speakers.
“Kathy’s book recognizes the unique temperaments of individual children. You will learn strategies to live happily with your child whether he is a perfectionist, too easygoing or shy.”Judy Arnall, bestselling author of Discipline Without Distress
“In this book, Kathy discusses the joys and challenges of our children’s differing personalities. Parents will learn how to raise their unique children with respect and dignity as they help them to become capable young men and women.”
Elizabeth Pantley, Author of the “No-Cry Solution” book series.
Kathy’s book recognizes the unique temperaments of individual children. You will learn strategies to live happily with your child whether he is a perfectionist, too easygoing or shy.
Judy Arnall, bestselling author of Discipline Without Distress
In this book, Kathy discusses the joys and challenges of our children’s differing personalities. Parents will learn how to raise their unique children with respect and dignity as they help them to become capable young men and women.