OK, I might have bossed my brother into taking over my share of cleaning up dog poop, but I was not too bad (right mom?). A lot of girls and boys I work with are complaining about bossy friends.
Parents often see this coming way before kids do. This is the friend that always comes over and gets to choose what to do, what movie they are going to watch, what they are going to pick up for dinner and who gets to wear the best Halloween costume when they dress up as the Seinfeld cast.
Here are some tips for parents and kids to deal with the bossy friend:
1. Call Them On It
Sometimes just talking to the bossy kid about it can help. Girls especially do not tend to be aware of their behavior and once they are gently told that they are always taking charge can learn to back down.
*Warning: Be prepared for some defensiveness or anger, if you unsure you can handle this you might want to wait for a more light confrontation time.
2. Bring in Another Alpha
I had a really bossy friend when I was in middle school. Lucky for me, I also had one really bossy cousin. I decided to take all three on a weekend trip and they duked it out. Afterwards, my bossy friends complained about how annoying bossy people are and toned down her own similar behavior.
3. Take a Break
Sometimes friends just fall into patterns. Taking a weekend away, or being a little busy for a few days might be a good way to start fresh. Coming out of summer, take advantage of the recent separation and let them know how much you have changed…and so have the rules.
4. Democracy Rules
If there is more than one of you in a group. Decide that everyone should just vote more often so everyone does not just follow the leader. Pack mentality is much better anyway.
*Are you a bossy friend? If you are, start this school year with a new attitude and let them know that you want to start listening to everyone’s suggestions for what to do.