Remember that old saying “Who died and made you the boss?” Well apparently I did and my 4-year old is now officially in charge. Of everything and and everyone she comes into contact with. Now I realize she is in a unique position here at our preschool being only 1 of 2 kids of staff members. I’m pretty sure I would be feeling rather full of myself if my parent was a teacher where I went to school. But even that doesn’t justify the authority she has bestowed upon herself, ranging from what imaginary name kids can give themselves to tattling on everyone to insisting that she is “the leader” in every game.
She looks soooo sweet but is actually in full command mode here!
Is this all coming from me? I’m absolutely cringing inside thinking that I have somehow developed this tyrannical attitude. But everything I’m researching says, “Fear not loyal subjects – this too shall pass”. I guess it’s only natural that she thinks she is the most important person in the world. For 4 years now, she has definitely gotten not only a hall pass on behaviors I would’ve never let my first child get away with, but also had pretty much every adult she’s ever met tell her how cute she is. I’m surprised her head fits through doorways with that ego. Self-esteem issues? Not so much.
Just got her way………….again.
But it’s also natural that at this age, control issues are very much on their little minds when for most of the day they are under the control of parents, teachers and older siblings. It’s hard to imagine she is compensating for a lack of power in her life, but she is in fact the younger sibling at home. It’s certainly possible that she feels when she’s with her friends, it’s her chance to be “in charge” for once. I must admit she is actually very well behaved at school, almost always following the rules (probably because she makes them) and being a good listener. So for her to try and wrest a little (or a lot) of control with her friends during the day, well I guess that’s pretty understandable.
I once attended a seminar where I heard that 80% of what we say to children comes out as a command. That’s an awfully big percentage and a little too authoritarian in my book. Yes, maybe when you pose too many questions and ask children to do things you may be setting yourself up for an emphatic “NO!”, but how about trying to hit a lower percentage of commands? How about 50% or 60%? I think that would still clearly get across the point of who’s in charge.
Not listening to anything anyone else has to say:)
What I do worry most about with her royalty complex is that she will suffer a loss in friendships. Personally, I would only put up with that attitude from one of my friends for a NY minute. But then again, us New Yorkers aren’t the most patient bunch. I tried reminding her that she is not actually a teacher here, to which she replied, “I keep forgetting!”. So lately, my best strategy in trying to give her some guidance on this bossypants style of play is to say, “Sydney, I’m not sure your friends like when you always tell them what to do. But I guess you’ll have to see how that all works out for you”. Maybe giving her the control of how she interacts with them will help her choose more wisely? In any case, I’m hoping for this stage to taper off sooner rather than later. And maybe when she heads off to kindergarten next year and Mommy isn’t there at school, she’ll eat a little humble pie in the cafeteria:)