We knew early we had a bossy-pants on our hands. My daughter didn't hesitate to tell me what to do, bossing me about the bowl she'd use for breakfast and the book I had to read first. And she told friends exactly where to sit and what to do. Scoldings, explanations and sisters yelling "Stop bossing me around!" didn’t curb her commands. What finally helped was drawing names from a hat.
When our family goes out to dinner once a week, the child whose name is selected gets to choose the restaurant — without any input or comment from her siblings. On weeks when we can't afford to go out, she chooses the dinner we make together at home. Regularly allowing each daughter to make an independent decision helps the bossy one submit to her siblings; it also gives the more passive ones an opportunity to speak up and be heard. Drawing from the hat works for other decisions, too, such as choosing a game or movie.
This article appeared in the December 2012 issue of
Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Marlo Schalesky.
Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.