Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Advice for Moms Advice for Moms

How do you deal with "bossy" friends at Kindergarten age?

Posted by on Mar. 20, 2014 at 7:39 AM
  • 19 Replies

DD1 has some great friends. One of her very best friends is a REALLY great girl, however she is a real "go-getter" and when they play, she likes to really take control of a situation. I don't want to call it "bossy" because she is very nice about it, but she always places herself in the "most fun" role of whatever they're doing and she sticks my daughter in something she doesn't necessarily want to do. I try to tell them to take turns so everyone gets to do the "cool" thing but she's not always on board for that. 

Example 1:  we had a girl scout booth at a store. At first they all were having so much fun shouting out at the same time to customers, "Would you like to buy some girl scout cookies!??" But then her friend said "Ok K (my daughter), YOU shout out "Would you like to buy...", I will hand over the cookies, and M (other girl in the troop) will collect the money. My girl is a bit shy. She did not want to be the only one yelling it out. She was having fun doing it with her 2 friends. Her friend would not let it happen any other way. I made them take turns but she wasn't too happy about it. 

Example 2:  They're on spring break and she came over to play. We went down by the woods and they started collecting some big sticks and making a teepee. :) We have a path in the woods and i was helping find some big sticks and my 3 yr old was also helping. Well she arranged it so she would come and take the BIG sticks from me to put on the  teepee, and she wanted my daughter to only take the little twigs my 3 yr old was collecting. That's not fun!! I shut that one down quickly but she pushes pretty hard to keep things her way. Like I said, she does it politely, but she really hogs the spotlight on things. :\ 

How do I deal with this situation? Her family is a really great family, and they teach their daughter well, but I guess I'm asking more how do I help my daughter stand her ground more? I've always taught her that you let your guest pick what to do at our house, but she ends up being miserable always doing stuff she doesn't want to do at that moment, and then on top of it being pushed to do the least fun part of whatever that activity is. But she kind of lets her friends walk all over her at school, I hear, too. My girl is a very polite, sweet girl, and I have witnessed her try a little to stand her ground, but things never end up in her favor. I'm not sure what to tell her.  How do I tell her to get her way sometimes without "undoing" the sweet, polite girl she is? I don't want to raise a "people pleaser" either, but it's hard to find the line.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Follow up 3/22:
First of all THANK YOU to all who replied, some great ideas there. I've been super busy and haven't been able to get back to my post in a while. I have since spoken with my daughter and told her that ..."it IS ok to tell your friend that you don't want to do something they want, and it IS ok to let them know how you feel. They're your FRIENDS.  If they don't like it, maybe they're not the greatest friend for you..." and I touched on the teepee situation and said if she wasn't happy with how that went, or ANY situation with a friend, to SPEAK UP and let them know, because a TRUE friend will CARE and try to play fair. This led into a conversation about how to NEVER try to act or do things the way you might think your friend wants you to act, because the only friends you attract that way are the wrong ones. I told her she is beautiful inside and out, and if she just relaxes and is herself, laughs at the things she thinks is funny, cries at the things she thinks is worthy of tears, and sticks up for what she thinks is right, the right friends for her will be attracted to HER. I saw a spark of "I get it" and warm happy fuzzies in her eyes when we had that conversation. I hope to see improvement soon. 

I mean she really isn't THAT BAD, but I have seen some situations go south because she's trying to be polite, and I wanted to nip it in the bud before it got worse. I was a VERY VERY shy little girl who was bullied for YEARS. She has more confidence at 5 than I had going into Freshman year of High School. I just have to guide her and like you guys said, "give her the words to empower her". Thank you mamas for the help!
 

by on Mar. 20, 2014 at 7:39 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
ceciliam
by Cecilia on Mar. 20, 2014 at 8:11 AM
2 moms liked this

I would say the best thing is to keep working on your daughters self esteem. There a books that you can buy that have role playing scenarios that teach kids how to stick up for themselves.

Here's a couple....



Roo1234
by Bronze Member on Mar. 20, 2014 at 8:27 AM
2 moms liked this
Talk to your daughter. Find out what she thinks and feels when these things happen. Give her a chance to voice it to you when it isn't happening.
Then you need to have get brainstorm ways of addressing it with her friend, you can even role play the options to practice and see which ones feel must comfortable to her.
Then, and this is the hardest part, you step back and let her handle it.

The more practice she has at dealing with recognizing her feelings and acting on them without interference, the better off she will be, but understand this won't happen overnight but you have to encourage her resilience from behind the scenes as well..
atlmom2
by Ruby Member on Mar. 20, 2014 at 8:35 AM
Have to learn early who is really a friend and who is not. How to dump friends who really are not. She is gonna have to learn to speak up, or be a doormat. I have grown girls and I know it is hard but they have to learn this. Your daughter will be a target for bullies if she doesn't speak up too. That girl is really trying to bully in a more polite way.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
bcauseimthemom
by Member on Mar. 20, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Teach your daughter to use the word NO and that she is no less important than anyone else.  She should not let her "friend" have her way all the time.  If she wants it to change, she needs to open her mouth. In your case, I would cut off the play dates and speak to the parent and let them know the issue.

Mom2Just1
by Mom2boys on Mar. 20, 2014 at 10:19 AM
Teach your dr to stand up for herself!
MotherOfPurpose
by Member on Mar. 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM
1 mom liked this

This and also telling her sometimes she hasthe option to "NOT PLAY" and do something else on her own if playing means lettings someone else call all the shots and its making her feel bad! A person can only be bossy if there are ppl around to boss around.

Quoting Roo1234: Talk to your daughter. Find out what she thinks and feels when these things happen. Give her a chance to voice it to you when it isn't happening. Then you need to have get brainstorm ways of addressing it with her friend, you can even role play the options to practice and see which ones feel must comfortable to her. Then, and this is the hardest part, you step back and let her handle it. The more practice she has at dealing with recognizing her feelings and acting on them without interference, the better off she will be, but understand this won't happen overnight but you have to encourage her resilience from behind the scenes as well..


pippi311
by on Mar. 20, 2014 at 10:52 AM
1 mom liked this

My son has a friend like that. She is a couple years older too so she really thinks she is in charge. She is also the daughter of a great friend of ours. We just try to limit our time together and when we do get together I try to make sure I am at least within earshot of what they're doing so I can know if her bossiness is getting too out of hand. Her mother is ok at trying to curb it, reminding her that she's "not the boss" but it never seems to stick very long. I don't like it, but I figure some kids will have personalities like this and it just need to be monitored. Like the OP, us parents often need to intervene to make sure they are playing fair and taking turns and generally being nice to eachother. Along with teaching your children that they don't always have to go along with what their friends want to do and they can choose to take themselves out of the situation.

SamMom912
by Silver Member on Mar. 20, 2014 at 5:24 PM
1 mom liked this

I would talk to your dd about turn taking and give her the words to say so she feels empowered to ask for her turn IF she wants the "fun role". to be honest, it takes a more emotionally flexible child to assume the second role then the one who cant.., so kudos to your DD. :) 

AM-BRAT
by Amber on Mar. 20, 2014 at 5:34 PM
Just keep coaching her.

Some kids are better suited for. The support roles.

Unless a person doesn't like it, then you help them change it. :)
Nai_Nai
by on Mar. 20, 2014 at 5:40 PM

I make my kids agree on what they are going to do and to take turns. I don't know what else to say :( My son was just complaining about being bullied at shool (he is in kindergarten too) so i have no idea how to help. Maybe tell your daughter to be more vocal about wht she wnts to do. practice with her, and be there with her when she is playing the the bossy one to make sure it goes smoothly. but thats all i got for you. I know its not much of a reply :( I'm sorry

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)