Bossy Girls: How To Manage Your Daughter’s “Diva-ness”

Bossiness can be perceived in different ways. Some people see it as being rude and controlling. While others view it as an bossy girlindividual knowing what they want and standing up for it. No matter how it is viewed, most parents do not want their children to be bossy. Many parents fear that their children will lose friends if they are bossy and absorbed only in themselves.

3 suggestions to help you manage your bossy daughter:

1. Talk About It.

Help your daughter understand what it means to be a good friend. Provide situations in which she has been a good friend by cooperating, appropriately playing, and making decisions with her friends. Also, discuss situations in which she has not been a good friend by acting bossy and controlling situations.

Help her realize that being bossy and controlling is not okay and have her identify more appropriate ways to interact with her friends. For example, stress the importance of listening to her friends and sharing and taking turns on what they want to do. Cooperation is another skill that can be taught, as well as teaching her to make suggestions and provide choices rather than just being demanding.

2. Practice.

After you discussed more appropriate ways for your daughter to play and interact with her friends, you should role-play different scenarios. Provide different situations in which she can either be a cooperative friend or a bossy friend. Have your daughter explain what she would do in the different situations. Throughout these role-playing exercises, provide your daughter guidance and feedback.

3. In the Moment.

When your daughter is playing with her friends, you want to be able to catch her in the moment. When she is appropriately playing with her friends and being a good friend, provide praise for these nice interactions. If you observe her being bossy, pull her aside and let her know that she is being bossy and not being a good friend and explain why.

Instead of calling your daughter out in front of her friends, it is best to talk to her in a different room or even whisper in her ear. If she continues the behavior after you bring it to her attention, give her a time-out. Let her know that when she is ready to be a good friend she can go back to playing with her friends. While in time-out, you can have her write an apology letter to her friends or after the time-out, you can have her verbally apologize to her friends.

If your daughter gives attitude toward you, let her know that the way she is acting is not okay and have her restate what she said in a nicer tone/manner. If she continues to be bossy or rude do not grant her request until she can make the request in an appropriate manner.

6 replies
  1. guest
    guest says:

    In my family, it’s definitely my daughter who’s the bossy one. But please remember that boys can be bossy too. Thanks for the tips.

    Reply
  2. Gsadowski
    Gsadowski says:

    Once again this is very useful and informative. Thanks for presenting a clear concise aide to raising children. Having three daughters this is very handy!

    Reply
  3. Katie
    Katie says:

    Thank you for your comments! I am glad to hear that you found this information useful! I definitely agree that boys can be bossy. Please use these strategies with bossy boys, as well!

    Reply
  4. Germaine Hesiak
    Germaine Hesiak says:

    Dear Katie, Thanks for the good advice and reminder! A Kindergarten girl in our extended care program is bossy with her sister and friends. The “whisper in her ear” suggestion is a good idea considering there are always several other children in the area. And, there are boys who need the same help, but their ears seem to have more trouble listening. Since I’m back in the loop with 3-6 year olds, your reminders are fun and helpful. Germaine Hesiak :o)

    Reply
  5. David and Rosie Suttie
    David and Rosie Suttie says:

    Hi Katie, this is great information. There is a fine line between knowing what you want and pushing others out of the way to get it. Thanks for clarifying. We will definitely be passing this on.

    Reply

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