My Child Is Talkative, Intelligent, But Bossy! How Do I Manage His ‘Controlling’ Nature?

Sarmistha Neogy
·7-min read

If your child has the tendency to control everything and you encourage this behaviour, you are unknowingly creating more trouble for your little one. There will be times when he may have little to no control over situations and in that case, will have trouble managing his emotions. Just as it happened with this dad who shared his ordeal on social media and asked parents: my child wants to control everything, what should I do!

The concerned father recently posed this parenting question about his 5-year-old son’s behaviour. He shared that his son is very talkative and likes to ask a lot of question. The father also shared that his child is a “little bossy at school by telling his classmates don’t do this and don’t do that.”

As a result of his attitude, none of his classmates want to play with him and he is left alone. The father was confused and invited suggestions from others in dealing with the issue.

‘My Child is Talkative, Intelligent, But Bossy, How Do I Manage His Controlling Nature?’ Ask Reddit User

my child wants to control everything
my child wants to control everything

Screengrab: Reddit

He wrote that as a father, he knows that children at this age are often impulsive and his child will figure out what is socially acceptable. But on the other hand, his wife feels that if the child has no one to play with, it might affect him negatively.

The user mentioned in his post, “My son is academically very advanced and intelligent. Intelligent kids tend to be more bossy!”

Fellow parents who commented on his post shared how they dealt with a controlling child at home. Some advised him to allow the child to face the situation on his own. While others suggested him to talk to his son and make him understand.

1. Let him face the situation on his own

A user named, roselle3316 wrote, “Honestly, I’d let him ride out this situation mostly on his own. It’ll help him grow as a person and navigate his social skills. If it leads to him bullying others (unknowingly) or others bullying him, then that’s grounds for you needing to become involved. Right now, it just sounds like a young boy trying to find his place in the social structure that exists in school classes, even this young. His “group” so to speak.”

He further added, “If you do want to talk with him just to appease your wife (and it might not be a bad idea), maybe have a private conversation with him about how these things make him feel when nobody wants to play with him and brainstorm ways (let him lead) about how to approach kids, things they can talk about (maybe he is really into monster trucks or dinosaurs or barbies) and become friends. This would keep you in the loop by keeping that communication open. Also, it’s much less invasive than going directly to the school.”

my child wants to control everything
my child wants to control everything

Screengrab: Reddit

2. Tell him ‘No’

Another user named Goatf*****rxtreme suggested engaging the child in unstructured play and model.

The user wrote, “A lot of times either kids don’t get to do this with adults or adults accommodate what they want. He needs practice playing with somebody who is going to tell him no and not just do what he wants.”

The user named AbjectEra also shared her two cents. “I totally tell my kids when they talk too much and encourage them to “take a break from talking” or “practice being quiet. My thinking—I can tell them nicely. Kids won’t be so kind as they get older,” she added.

The post raised some valid points on a child’s behaviour and delved into the pertinent issue: when is the right time for parents to step in?

Parenting Techniques To Control A ‘Controlling’ Child

Photo Courtesy: Flickr)

Identifying the traits of a bossy child

If this behaviour that ‘my child wants to control everything’ is not dealt with properly, then it can become their default habit. Parents, therefore, need to be extremely patient and careful while dealing with a controlling child. And the first step towards that is to identify is your child is bossy or just talkative. If he exhibits the following, he is veering towards the former.

  • Your child has a seemingly dominant and controlling personality

  • He doesn’t want to be told what is to be done all the time

  • Your child can resort to being physically mean or picking on others

  • He is often labelled as “bad” “naughty” “mean” or “bossy.”

  • Your child says “no” to everything

  • He won’t get dressed or change clothes when told do

  • Your child will scream and tell you, “That’s not the right way.”

As parents, if you find your child to exhibit any of the controlling traits, don’t encourage it. Instead, try to nip it in the bud. However, this is not as easy as it sounds, which is why we’ve listed some techniques that may help you:

Be firm but kind

Don’t be harsh on your child. Try and make them understand what they are doing is not right. Yes, it is important to be strict, but be kind. There is no need for you to yell. Instead, sit down calmly and explain why your child’s actions are unacceptable.

Be consistent

Parents need to be consistent, if they want order in the house. If today you crack your whip on your child when they are unruly, tomorrow you can’t ignore or encourage them when they show similar behavioural traits. So lead by example.

Encourage them

Your child needs to be made to feel that he or she is capable in many different ways as possible. This will give them self-confidence, which will in turn help them to move on in life.

Use positive language

Focus on what your kids can do, rather than what they can’t. So instead of saying, “No TV until you’ve cleaned your room,” say, “You can watch TV after you do your homework.”

Offer praise

Praise your child for being good. Say things like, “Thank you for helping me to do the dishes” or “You have done great work. Keep it up.” Remember that positive attention can go a long way in motivating kids to keep up the good work.

Reward good behaviour

You can create a sticker chart that targets one specific behaviour or a behaviour chart that keeps track of several behaviours throughout the week. Either way, these are both simple methods to reward good behaviour. It motivates the child to continue on the path of ‘goodness.’

Motivate your child to do humble chores

Sometimes your child may need a little push in the form of some appreciation from you “I wouldn’t have been able to complete this task, without your help.” Motivate them to engage in work that they are good at and also perform chores that keep them grounded.

For instance, if they want to help you cook dinner or mow the garden, let them do it. Encourage them also to participate in household chores that you feel will keep them grounded.

Control your anger

If you have a controlling child, you will never be able to teach them self control techniques, if you fail to show them yourself. It is important to control your temper and don’t be sarcastic in your tone. Create a positive environment that will help your child to grow.

A combination of all of these techniques will help your child feel connected and capable. It will also give them the courage to try something new, without feeling that they are being monitored all the time. But more importantly, it won’t give them a sense of entitlement and keep them humble.

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9 Things to Say When Your Little One is Being Bossy

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