When our second-born son “graduated” from preschool, the teachers offered an optional parent/teacher meeting to glean their observations about your child’s learning readiness etc. I was pretty curious what his teacher would say, so I signed up with a lot of questions in mind. Two years later, I STILL crack.up.laughing. when I think of what she told me.

He received overall high marks and certainly showed Kindergarten readiness. But her most critical thing that she had to offer me (I asked for it) was that he was “sort of bossy”. I had to bite my lip when she told me this because of all I know about my amazing middle child. She went on to explain how he micromanages the play going on in the room, how he acts as “rules police” to the other students and is quick to point out whenever someone is incorrect (i.e. that girl is saying the ball is blue but that ball is CLEARLY green).

She was so right about him doing those things- and it hasn’t really changed. I’ve read “The Birth Order Book” in hopes to better understand him and to figure out why he acts like he does. I think that the truth is more that he is a child in a home FULL of first-borns (his mother, father and brother all) and until recently, he was the one getting left out of things because he was too young/little to participate.

Those tables are beginning to turn with the addition of his sister (competition) and with some work on instilling more of a “worry-about-yourself” and “take responsibility for your own stuff” ideology for him. I see so much of myself in him and that’s hard! It reminds me how clearly I remember my little sister harping on me that I was SO. BOSSY. when we were growing up. She still laughs and teases me about it.

I’ve embraced my bossiness in a whimsical way and I hope I can teach him to open up that tight fist of control. The hardest lessons I learned were that #1. I can only control my own response and #2. good teachers replicate themselves.

However the challenge for me now is how do my husband and I as parents take this leadership capability and help our son develop those skills so that he can grow from bossy to great leader?

From where we sit right now, I think all the glory will have to go to God. Parenting is one doozie of a journey!

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