I have never met siblings who, in some ways, did not boss around his or her other siblings. It is natural and in some ways healthy activity for older children to do. Your older child is trying his or her best to understand and relate to the world around, as well as managing the parents’ discipline style with all the children. Business often is a result of that.
M. Concepcion, President of Global Family & Home Care says that “when you have a child that is constantly snapping orders and demanding that brothers and sisters do what they are told, it is important to use behavior modification and coach your child to treat others in the same way he wants to be treated”.
Parents also need to reflect about their own behaviors and speaking tones. Children mimic and imitate what they see adults doing. If your child has experienced a lot of “bossiness” from mom, dad or other caregivers, it is likely that he or she is going to pick up these habits. If you examine yourself and find that you often times give too many orders to your children, begin to change the way you talk with them.
This is much easier to say than to do. Once you are aware of this you will begin to catch yourself giving commands and orders. Do your best in those moments to stop and rephrase what you have just said. “Pick up your shoes!” becomes “Allie, could you please pick up your shoes?” After a while of consistently stopping yourself from blurting out the command, you will begin to hear yourself mid-sentence. Then you will begin to stop yourself just as you are giving the order. Eventually you will naturally ask in a kind, gentler way.
There are going to be times as a parent that asking a question is not appropriate, because
asking a questions means that your child’s answer can be NO. When this is the case, use one of
the two following phrases. “Let’s pick up your shoes together.” This is obviously when there is
an activity you will be doing together. You can also use the phrase “I need you to pick up your
shoes.” Use of the word “I” shows that you understand that picking up the shoes is not
something your child has a need to do but is something you, the parent or caregiver needs.
Older children are often given more responsibilities in and around the house. This is often
times a necessity, and it can be beneficial for both you and your child. It allows you to have a
little help and it gives your child new experiences and self-esteem. However, in your child’s
mind that elevated responsibility needs to come with more control. So if you are giving your
child extra responsibilities around the house, he or she also need to have more control over
what happens in life. If your child is not given more control, he or she will begin to take it. One
way that happens is through bossing younger siblings.
Parents can enlist the assistance of their nannies or after school home care providers to
reinforce “sharing and respectful behavior” among siblings. Selection of a qualified,
experienced and sensitive child care provider can make a significant difference in your child’s
Global Family & Home Care can provide you with reliable and flexible care specialist to care
for your children. For more information visit our website www.globalintervisions.com or call
us at 312-918-6741