I have a really bossy child.
Really I shouldn’t be surprised about this. For starters, people say I’m bossy. I’m not sure it’s bossiness, it’s more a need to get things organised and right, although I think I’ve got more relaxed since having N. The OH is quite laid back so he could have turned out one of the two extremes.
And then, he’s 4 years old. Which means bossiness has become part of his nature (along with making up stories and trying to trick people – mostly unsuccessfully)
We’ve had some interesting conversations over the last couple of months, where he’s really started to assert himself and his opinions. You’d think he’d be a future leader the way he assumes people will just a) believe what he says and b) do what he says. We’ll see.
The first person he seems to have wrapped around his little finger is Granny….and probably Gramps, and my brother-in-law. With the Pavlov theory that animals can be trained to anticipate a reward by teaching them a trigger or prompt, N seems to have worked out that Granny & Gramps going on holiday means a bag of sweets or chocolate on their return. For him they usually bring him back some chocolate buttons, but the last time he went to say bye before they left, he supposedly put in his order….for 2 bags of jelly babies. And that’s exactly what they brought back for him.
I’m not sure he really needed one bag, let alone two. Thankfully one bag stayed at the farm, and mostly got eaten by his uncle.
N also gets bossy with anything to do with nursery. Anything that’s out of routine, he has a view on. So if I can’t pick him up one day, and try to organise his dad to pick up, I get all kinds of suggestions and verbal viewpoints on who should be picking him up (‘Auntie J has to pick me up after picking up R’) and at what time (‘tell Granny it’s got to be after tea, but I need to have tea when I get home to the farm too’).
Then of course, anything with food is top of his agenda.
From making sure his sandwiches are cut the way of choice….triangles, rectangles, squares (am I glad I didn’t bring out the shape cutters? That would have added to the bossiness. He doesn’t always get his way because usually I’ve cut before he states his choice).
To telling everyone what they can and can’t have on their plate. I’m a little concerned that he likes to have his food types not touching. Having worked with someone just like that and who took a full hour to eat a baked potato with beans and cheese because of his pickiness, I’d really rather it all got mushed in. Thankfully he’s not overly precious on that one, but serving up now, I try and let him do his own to keep him happy.
The worst was when we got invited for tea over Easter at my sister-in-law’s house. She made the mistake of asking him what food he thought she should cook for everyone. ‘Macaroni cheese’. Not quite what she was planning. But the suggestion of roast turkey and a ham didn’t go down well. Everytime we mentioned that we were going for tea there, N told everyone that we were having macaroni. Oops. It got so ridiculous and convincing, I nearly believed that that was what we were going to be eating.
Hopefully he’ll get over the bossy stage soon. While it does make me laugh, and I have to get creative distracting him or correcting him, there’s only so much 4 year old ordering around I can or will take.
Do you have bossy children? How do you deal with it?