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Bossy Toddlers

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Mary Carmona 4 years, 6 months ago.

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    My two and a half year old has become really bossy lately.  We try to tell her to ask nicely for things and discourage this kind of behavior, but whenever she plays with other children she is always telling them what to do.  How can I rid her of this behavior before she starts preschool?


    I know what this is like! Dealing with a bossy 3 year old boy in our family, too. I’ll definitely be checking back for people’s suggestions!

    Profile photo of Allison

    My toddler does the same thing and often times, she is repeating to other people what she hears.  I used to tell her "you need to to go to sleep now" or "go pick up your toys" and then I heard her start telling other kids "you need to do ….." or "go do ….".   I realized that by changing the way I speak to her ultimately changed the way she asked others to do things.  I’ve been asking, instead of telling…and it seems to be working fo the most part!

    Profile photo of Amy

    I have a bossy preschooler and worry too that she is picking up what we say at home and transferring it to her friends at school. Thanks afraser for the advice on wording – I’m going to think about my choice of words going forward.


    I completely understand the frustrations. My son is going through a bossy phase now also. I have to say it is the lesser of the two evils. He had a hard time "using" his words instead of his hands. Now that he is saying how he feels or what he wants instead of hitting, pushing, grabbing, or biting, I feel like it is getting better. We just need to work on making it come out nicer.

    They absorb everything, so I agree with the mom who said that she sees her child mimicing her words. So my advise would be lead by example.

    My other thought is persistance. Everytime you hear you child say something, and you think it should be said "nicer", put the words in his/her mouth. "We should ask ….?"  After doing this enough times, it’s bound to stick.

    Lastly, hang in there. Your doing a great job and it will get easier. :smileyhappy:


    That’s a great suggestion!  I’ll definitely be trying that.  Thanks for the help!

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    Mary Carmona

    Thank you

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