Does your child exhibit a tendency to be bossy or demanding when playing with friends?
Let’s be honest, we would ALL would like to have our own way ALL the time, but that is just not the reality of living, playing, and working with other people. If your child is adamant about controlling play with peers or demanding things be done a certain way, they will quickly find themselves involved in conflicts, or even with no one to play with at all.
Here is a suggestion for coaching your child on this issue:
When you hear a bossy-sounding statement coming from your child, there is a simple intervention that usually works like magic. Coach your child to exchange the words, “You have to” for “How about we?” Explain that these words give each person the chance to share their ideas and it starts the process of problem-solving toward a mutual solution.
If you find your child continues to be rigid in their thinking and still wants to control the play, take it a step further and explain the probable negative outcome. It can be very powerful asking your child, “Do you want to have friends?” (Most kids will say, “Yes.”) Then say, “Let’s think about what’s not working and see what you might be able to do instead.”
Suggested Coaching Language:
“That sounded a little bossy. Let’s try the magic words and say, ‘How about we (fill in the blank)?’ instead.”
“How about doing it her way first, and your way next.”
“I don’t think that your friend’s ideas are being heard.”