(FYI, when I say, “Mommy Question Time” you guys know I mean I’m the Mommy and I’m asking You the question, right? Not that this is something only Moms can answer.)________________

Ok, I confess, I was an incredibly bossy little girl. My sister will never let me forget this fact. I still can come off as over-bearing and all that jazz…but you know, sometimes it just comes out.

Enter my dearest firstborn, Cooper. He is a lot like me I’m afraid. One of the traits he seems to have picked up from me is said bossiness. I empathize with the kiddo; sometimes I still think that everyone would just be much happier if they did things MY way. That’s perfectly logical thinking….

The problem is that I’ve got the rule police on my hands. He follows Chase around all day telling him he can’t touch this and he can’t touch that. I even heard him telling Chase this morning (while he was in Chase’s room no less) that he couldn’t touch his {Chase’s} own toy! Seriously?

What’s happening as a result of Mr. Bossy Pants is that he is doing things that are naughty with the rational that so-and-so kid wasn’t doing what was supposed to be done the WAY it was supposed to be done. (Which is HIS way.)

Last week at school he pushed some kids on top of a really high slide and they almost fell off. They could have been seriously hurt too; it was apparently a pretty tall slide. I asked him why he did it and he said “they were in my way”. Sigh. When I dug a little deeper it sounded like maybe the kids were blocking the top of the slide so he couldn’t go down-a rule in our house that that is not nice to do.

Then today at school, he apparently spit at another kid. The teacher didn’t see it happen (another teacher did) and couldn’t tell me much so I asked Coop about it. He said the kid in front of him “wasn’t going, he was just standing there”. Riiggghhhhttt….

Now we’ve gone over the rules in our family (and that the rules go where we go) many times here lately. In fact…it seems like it has been a lot lately. He knows them full well. We don’t kick, push, spit or cause harm to other people if/when we don’t like something they are or are not doing.

The result of these kinds of things is always some kind of consequence at home too. I really think it is important now that he understands that I KNOW what happens at school. And if he can’t obey at school, he’ll get a consequence there AND here. But sometimes, I want to just ignore it and say, “he’s just being a kid!”.

So here’s my question. I know I’m not the only Mom who has a first born who acts like um, a first born. So how do you do it? What kinds of strategies do you implore on your children to help them understand that they are NOT the boss of the whole world and everyone in it?

P.S. One thing we emphasize with Cooper is that every person on the Earth is precious to God and he should treat each person as such. Obviously, he needs some reminding of that!


One thought on “Mommy Question Time: Mr. Bossy Pants

  1. I have a Cooper of my own. His name is Sloan. I feel your pain. We’ve spent a lot of time talking with Sloan about these issues. Most of that talking happens during times of non-conflict. Consequences come during the times of conflict.

    One incident that he still remembers was when he was sent to the office in preschool for rough play and inappropriate words in preschool. It was a problem that the teachers had talked about with us before and he and a few other boys got out of hand and had to go to the office.

    We have always stressed to our kids the importance of honoring other adults. They may not always honor us, but they know that it is bad if they don’t honor a teacher. Sloan’s consequence for that incident was loss of TV for a weekend and no friends over for a week. He escaped a spanking only because he was honest with the principal of his school about what he said when the other boys lied. We praised his honesty but let him know there were sill consequences for his actions.

    I also made him write an apology letter to both of his teachers. I wrote out what he was supposed to say and made him sit at the table and copy it onto his own sheet of paper. He didn’t really know how to write well so this took him a long time – another part of the consequence. That stuck with him.

    Keep at it. The best you can do is praise, praise, praise when he makes good choices to boost his esteem and give consistent consequnces when he makes poor choices.

    That being said, I do agree with you that you also have to give allowance for the fact that he’s a kid. While you want him to make good choices, he has to be allowed to fail and there has to be room for growth. It sounds to me like you’re doing great. It’ll click with him soon!

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