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(Slate)   "My six year-old accuses me of being bossy if I ask her to do anything. Is that the textbook definition of bossy, and if so, since I'm her parent, isn't that okay?"   (slate.com) divider line
    More: Awkward, WANT, A Little Bit, Emotion, A Little Bit Longer, 4-year-old son Danny, 6-year-old daughter, younger kids' capacities, lists of creative ideas  
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259 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 28 Sep 2020 at 12:20 PM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



29 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-09-28 10:08:53 AM  
My wife and I were smart enough to know, just because your friends are having kids--that isn't any reason why you have to.

Some people lack that and end up being shiatty parents to kids who turn out horrible.
 
2020-09-28 10:47:51 AM  
Yes.

Yes.

That was easy!
 
2020-09-28 11:08:34 AM  
Sounds like your 6 year old has been coddled and needs to have better defined boundaries. Also, what are you doing that even your own child doesn't show you any respect?
 
2020-09-28 12:21:33 PM  
For us 70s and 80s kids, it was: "Because I said!" and you didn't want to take it much further than that.
 
2020-09-28 12:27:57 PM  

Combustion: For us 70s and 80s kids, it was: "Because I said!" and you didn't want to take it much further than that.


Yep. For some reason it doesn't fly with my kids.
 
2020-09-28 12:31:57 PM  

TheSteelCricket: Combustion: For us 70s and 80s kids, it was: "Because I said!" and you didn't want to take it much further than that.

Yep. For some reason it doesn't fly with my kids.


Because you're a good parent who doesn't beat their kids???
 
2020-09-28 12:32:21 PM  
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that you shouldn't accept a definition of what is or isn't bossy from a six year old, who by nature will not want to do anything they're asked.
 
2020-09-28 12:40:27 PM  
If your self-worth is tied in how other people see you, you might write to slate for help.  Because you need anything you can get.

If your self-worth is tied up in a 6-year old's arguments, just let someone else adopt the 6 year old and move into a nunnery/monastary/asylum.   You just aren't fit for this world.
 
2020-09-28 12:52:00 PM  

Combustion: TheSteelCricket: Combustion: For us 70s and 80s kids, it was: "Because I said!" and you didn't want to take it much further than that.

Yep. For some reason it doesn't fly with my kids.

Because you're a good parent who doesn't beat their kids???


Beating kids is bad.  Swatting them on the ass is sometimes necessary. Helps to keep them from being adult snowflakes that have melt downs when they don't get their way.
 
2020-09-28 12:53:20 PM  
Tell her that being bossy is taking her deep in the woods and leaving her there.  Then ask her if she really wants to see you bossy.
 
2020-09-28 12:55:28 PM  
ftfa: '"I'm your mom! It isn't bossing! It is my job!"'

Guess which parent *didn't* work as a babysitter when they were teens.
 
2020-09-28 12:56:00 PM  
Always let your six year old run the household. This has been shown to be a strategy that cannot fail.
 
2020-09-28 1:05:03 PM  
Good preparation for dealing with conservatives...
 
2020-09-28 1:24:08 PM  
If you don't correct this behavior now your six-year old might end up like one of those plague rat covidiots some day.  IE, never really evolve beyond six year old mentality.
 
2020-09-28 1:32:03 PM  
If my kid told me that I'd say, "Good, you understand perfectly, now do what I just asked you to do."
 
2020-09-28 1:39:03 PM  

xanadian: Yes.

Yes.

That was easy!


Yea, if this person needs a Slate advice columnist to tell her how to handle this kind of interaction with a toddler, they should just go ahead and put themselves both up for adoption.

Here's what I learned about being a parent before I had a kid, just by watching other parents fail:

- First and foremost, make the roles clear and unquestionable.  "I'm the parent, you're the boss.  When you become a parent, you get to be the boss."

- Don't negotiate.  No quid pro quo.  No "you can have ice cream if you eat your broccoli."  You can give them ice cream if they eat the broccoli as a reward, but don't tell them about it until you serve the ice cream.

- Don't move goalpoasts.  First, it's only fair.  Second, goalposts move both ways.  If you set a deadline or give an order, expect it to be met.

- Don't make empty threats or promises.  Establish what consequences will follow failure to meet a deadline or follow an order.  Carry through.

- Scale rewards or punishments to the accomplishment or offense.  Don't be a monster, and make them earn their luxuries.  They will value them more.

It's not that friggin hard.
 
2020-09-28 2:35:13 PM  
My orphan showed up when he was 17, a fully-formed useless slob.  No idea how to add discipline now (just turned 21) other than to eject him into the cold, cruel world for some real life lessons.
 
2020-09-28 2:40:08 PM  

Russ1642: If my kid told me that I'd say, "Good, you understand perfectly, now do what I just asked you to do."


Definitely. Don't just agree with them, revel in it. Let them know perfectly well that you don't consider it an insult, but the highest compliment. See if they accuse you of it again next time.

/But then again, don't be surprised when they find another way to get you
//My favorite payback was when I chased my (then) ~9 year old outside  on a really nice summer day, using my mother's favorite line from my childhood "It's too nice a day to waste sitting around inside!"
///Little punk grabbed a book, parked a lawn chair in the shade, and non-verbally dared me to tell him to stop reading. Yes, he definitely won that round, and it was awesome
 
2020-09-28 2:40:43 PM  

Billy Bathsalt: My orphan showed up when he was 17, a fully-formed useless slob.  No idea how to add discipline now (just turned 21) other than to eject him into the cold, cruel world for some real life lessons.


I know four branches of military that can beat some discipline and real life lessons into your useless slob.  He'll even get paid for it!!
 
2020-09-28 3:38:05 PM  
Tell her that when she turns sixteen or whatever age she can be emancipated at, she can make that decision, and nobody will tell her what to do the rest of her life.
 
2020-09-28 3:41:34 PM  

Combustion: TheSteelCricket: Combustion: For us 70s and 80s kids, it was: "Because I said!" and you didn't want to take it much further than that.

Yep. For some reason it doesn't fly with my kids.

Because you're a good parent who doesn't beat their kids???


Never went any further than

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2020-09-28 4:22:22 PM  

Combustion: TheSteelCricket: Combustion: For us 70s and 80s kids, it was: "Because I said!" and you didn't want to take it much further than that.

Yep. For some reason it doesn't fly with my kids.

Because you're a good parent who doesn't beat their kids???


Back in those days if your kids didn't do what they were told instantly you were considered a bad parent. Parents who didn't use corporal punishment were considered weak and were thought to be raising a generation of criminals.

I remember being in a restaurant when I was about 5 or 6 and a kid at the next table had a full blown meltdown. His dad gave him a vicious spanking right there at the table and when he was done a bunch of people clapped.

The police supported it too. When I was about 15 (~1983) some friends of mine were throwing snowballs at cars. One guy came back and confronted them, and ended up hitting this kid named Jeff in the head with a wrench opening up a gash that needed about 20 stiches. The others dragged him home and his mom called the cops. When the cop heard what happened he told Jeff's mom "Your kid got what he deserved and I'm not investigating this", and got up and left.
 
2020-09-28 4:57:12 PM  

TheSteelCricket: Combustion: For us 70s and 80s kids, it was: "Because I said!" and you didn't want to take it much further than that.

Yep. For some reason it doesn't fly with my kids.


Well, it flies with my kids.  Mexican traditions die hard.  Hard.
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That's my wife's weapon of choice.  I'm old school:
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2020-09-28 6:13:20 PM  
This isn't a democracy, dum dum, and you're setting yourself up for a coup
 
2020-09-28 6:16:37 PM  

bughunter: xanadian: Yes.

Yes.

That was easy!

Yea, if this person needs a Slate advice columnist to tell her how to handle this kind of interaction with a toddler, they should just go ahead and put themselves both up for adoption.

Here's what I learned about being a parent before I had a kid, just by watching other parents fail:

- First and foremost, make the roles clear and unquestionable.  "I'm the parent, you're the boss.  When you become a parent, you get to be the boss."

- Don't negotiate.  No quid pro quo.  No "you can have ice cream if you eat your broccoli."  You can give them ice cream if they eat the broccoli as a reward, but don't tell them about it until you serve the ice cream.

- Don't move goalpoasts.  First, it's only fair.  Second, goalposts move both ways.  If you set a deadline or give an order, expect it to be met.

- Don't make empty threats or promises.  Establish what consequences will follow failure to meet a deadline or follow an order.  Carry through.

- Scale rewards or punishments to the accomplishment or offense.  Don't be a monster, and make them earn their luxuries.  They will value them more.

It's not that friggin hard.


These are all solid precepts
 
2020-09-28 6:44:56 PM  
Any 6-year-old girl who says her parent is bossy has been told she is bossy too many times. It is a gendered insult, usually. How is the child supposed to know the difference between what she does and what an adult does? Quit calling girls bossy for things that boys would get away with, or praised for. And a parent telling a child to do something is NOT being bossy.
 
2020-09-28 10:31:19 PM  

SoupGuru: Sounds like your 6 year old has been coddled and needs to have better defined boundaries. Also, what are you doing that even your own child doesn't show you any respect?


So...you don't have kids? That's totally normal six-year-old behavior. She heard a new word and is trying to define it, and trying to define what is and isn't appropriate to tell her to do. That's what kids do. The solution is to explain, be patient, and reward doing what you want.

/that, and the odd bribe
//kidlet--the one I raised for a decade--is currently doing high school and her AA degree at the same time, one of the politest kids in her class, and generally going to be running the UN by the time she's eighteen. I'm very proud.
///I'm also considering just kidnapping her to make her take a nap every now and again...why the hell do they load up sixteen-year-olds with that much schoolwork? She's not ready for a forty-hour work week, let alone a sixty-hour one! However, because our actual parents have stepped in, I remain Not In Charge Of That Sort Of Thing.
 
2020-09-28 11:05:24 PM  
I get the same response from my staff.
Basic requests are a big f'ing deal.
 
2020-09-29 2:29:04 AM  
This is not a democracy, this is a monarchy. And you aren't prince/princess. You're peasants. End of story.
 
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