The politically correct term may be ‘Executive leadership’, but let’s face it- your kids’ a Bossy-Pants. But in a home overflowing with responsibilities, why not embrace a little middle management?
My oldest child has all of the classic symptoms of first born- assertive, confident, particular and bossy. I’ve spent many many hours gritting my teeth trying to convince this child he is NOT the parent. After seven years of constant negotiation, I’ve thrown in the towel.
Redefining the Term
While bossiness may have negative connotations in society, we should embrace it. The very personality characteristics we try to curb in youth are often those respected in adults; leadership, confidence and assertiveness. Years from now when your grown child is fighting for a promotion or faced with a difficult situation, you’ll want her to have the skills to succeed on her own. A strong personality in youth is likely to carry through life. Don’t crush it.
Lessening the Burden
A little confidence in your child’s personality can go a long way. When my seven-year-old insists on being in charge, I (sometimes) walk away with confidence that he will make the right choice. When he wants to pick out his own clothes or dictate his brothers through a game of Hide-and-Seek, it’s just one less thing for me to worry about. Embracing my little helper boosts his confidence and helps me run a home.
Maintaining your Authority
Once you’ve decided to let your Bossy-pants be bossy, it’s important she doesn’t get carried away. You’re still the parent and your child still needs guidelines. Don’t give up all control. If necessary, pre-delegate responsibilities. She’ll know when she’s in charge and when you are. Lead by example. When you give your child a task, give her complete authority. Let her know you trust her to make the right decisions. In return you’ll gain her respect.
Balancing Leadership with Siblings
I am continuously amazed by my children’s talents, but embracing them is a constant balancing act. My seven-year-olds’ leadership qualities will take him far in life, but I can’t allow his authority to crush his siblings. Instead of assuming equality and delegating leadership roles to everyone, I like to focus on individual strengths. My six-year-olds’ creativeness inspires magnificent fort building while the babies imagination fills our house with laughter.
As parents, it is our job to feed our children’s mind and spirit; not to inhibit their personalities.