Group Therapy Thursday – Miss Bossy Pants

What do you think Alicia should do?  Have you ever been in a similar situation?


Dear MS&J,  Love you guys!  Here goes:  (I won’t give names)

My daughter has a sweet friend who comes over often.   This little girl is her favorite/best friend. Ages are 8&9.   We like her….BUT, this summer I’ve noticed something that I DON”T LIKE at all.   I’ve only watched it happen, and have not YET said anything.  This girl, BOSSES my daughter around.  A LOT.  Whatever they end up doing – it’s what she wants.  My daughter just goes along.  I fear it’s because she really wants this friend.  In their group, she’s kind of the “IT” girl.  I DO NOT want her to be bossed around and think this is okay.  Before I say something……what are your thoughts or experiences???

Thanks so much!!!   Alicia

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8 years ago

I think having a talk with the daughter is in order. Just to make sure the daughter knows she doesn’t have to do what the friend tells her. If she is the type of person (like me) that is ok with what the other person suggests that’s ok too. The daughter needs to know she can say no if she wants to though.

Deanna S.
Deanna S.
8 years ago

Has she spoken to her own daughter about it? Sometimes reinforcing her confidence and letting her know that she doesn’t always have to go along with what her friend wants may help. I’m all about letting the kids work it out on their own if possible.

8 years ago

My advice is to coordinate some activities for the girls so you can be the moderator and mandate who-goes-first. This could teach the bossy girl to share, and your daughter to speak up because she knows what it’s like to be able to make a decision. Obviously you can’t moderate EVERYTHING, kids need to be able to be creative on their own. Encourage your daughter to speak up, and if the “bossy one” gets all bent out of shape when she does, it will hopefully teach both girls a valuable lesson. I would also find other outlets to make new friends for your daughter – preferably ones that aren’t in her current circle. My concern is that even though your daughter doesn’t seem to mind the bossiness, some of the characteristics might rub off on her.

My accreditation on this is my own children: I have two older boys and the 3yr old is a girl. When she was born, the boys were so protective over her that she couldn’t squeak without one of them flipping out that she needed something. (My daughter being my third child, I appreciated the extra help.) Fast forward to now and I have a Diva that demands she gets her way or she screams (She’s learning not to!). I have to remind the boys to not give in *just* so she doesn’t scream, she needs to understand how to be fair. I DO REALIZE she is THREE… and that is different than EIGHT, however, the response is the same. The boys can be bossy with each other as well – “I’m older, you do what I say” and “I’m younger, you should let me go first”. Bossiness should not be accepted or tolerated, and can be more prevalent in social circles where the group is comfortable with each other (such as my children). I noticed that taking my children to a place with others they do not know, such as the playground, and they play just fine. I also noticed that if there is a really bossy child at the playground, my own children do not want to play with that child. What goes around comes around. 🙂

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