My son is very bossy when he interacts with his family and friends. As a smaller child it didn’t seem to be a problem since I reasoned that he would grow out of it, but now it is apparent that I’ve inadvertently created a brat. When he doesn’t get his way, he will try his best to force everyone to his way of thinking. If that doesn’t work, my son retreats into a sulky silence and refuses to let up until he gets his way. His friends used to give into his demands, but as they enter their teen years they rarely come around to play with him. He routinely gets left out of things that his friends are doing. His attitude doesn’t bother me much and since it is just him and I, it’s easy enough to do what he likes. Family members are telling me that I need to deal with this problem, but I just don’t know where to start.
Dear Permissive Peggy,
Halfway through the raising of your Miniature Human you realized you made a horrible mistake. Now you want to not only hit the brakes, but actually flip the vehicle around and face it the other way?! That is a tall order, but one I think I can fulfill. Before you beat yourself up too badly, consider this – you could have continued on the current course, eventually unleashing a beastly adult on the rest of us.
Society will remember you for your heroic efforts in fixing this bratty Mini Human.
The first thing I would recommend you do is sit down with your Miniature Human and talk to him. He is old enough to hear what you have to say and contemplate it. Point out that his friends no longer come over as often as they did before. Point out that his friends exclude him from events. Point out that even his family is becoming fatigued by his behavior. (Maybe also point out you are being held hostage to the whims of a madman and you’d like a say in the pizza toppings from now on.) Then point out that the problem is entirely fixable at his young age. All he has to do is stop sulking like a petit bébé who lost his bottle when he doesn’t get his way.
It sounds much kinder to call someone a little baby when you say it in French.
After that, all it will take it some is some finesse to get his friends back into the picture. Your Miniature Human should be prepared to apologize to them and explain that he’s trying to turn over a new leaf. Then he should invite them all to do something that he has resisted in the past. I’m not talking about something he is frightened by or has a rational reason to avoid, but some activity that he normally balks at participating in. This will teach him the final lesson that he needs to learn.
The world doesn’t revolve around his wishes and desires.
If your Miniature Human doesn’t heed your advice and change his ways, perhaps it is time to consider a boarding school. From what I’ve seen in the movies, they don’t seem to care what the pupil’s personal preferences are!
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