Teaching children not to be dominant with their friends

We do our children a disservice when we employ a permissive educational style and allow them to be free at home and develop without taking into account any norms or limits.

Not everything goes! We have to transmit this idea to the children at home so that they learn to respect each other and not overreach when they are interacting with their peer group. That is to say, we must teach children not to be dominant with their friends.

Children's behavior with their friends is but a reflection of how they behave at home. Therefore, it is important that we instill in our children the necessary skills to function successfully with their friends or colleagues:

- Actively listen.

- Respect the opinions of others.

- Amiability.

- Express thoughts, emotions, opinions, etc. without fear.

- Do not offend or intimidate.

- Do not demand from others and, on the contrary, suggest or make requests.

- Dialogue or negotiate to reach consensus.

Next, we offer some recommendations that we must take into account if we want our son not to behave in a domineering way with his friends and to stop being “the boss of the group”:

- Do not be bossy or controlling with them. Children may be dominating or bossy around their friends because they are mimicking this behavior they observe at home.

- Help the child to improve his social skills. Not respecting others and having an aggressive behavior style can take its toll on the child. Aggressive behavior is that which we use when we impose, command, direct, use a high tone of voice, a challenging look or, at one extreme, when we physically or verbally attack others. Children with this type of behavior do not care about others, how they can be or what they can think. They are simply aware of meeting your needs and meeting your objectives. We must help the child to modify this style of behavior and adopt an assertive behavior.

- Teach the child that he cannot always get away with it. Children who are dominant are used to getting their way. They handle the situation and manage to bring others to their turf. They are used to deciding and imposing. For this reason, it is good to teach them that you don't always decide, that you can't always command and that we can't always get away with it.

- Pay attention to their needs and promote their self-esteem. Dominant or bossy children often want to capture the attention of the people around them. They need everyone to be aware of what they do and how they do it. Therefore, we must ask ourselves if it is possible that our child is demanding more attention and act accordingly so that the child feels supported and valued by his environment (family, friends, teachers, etc.). We can strengthen your self-esteem by asking them to help us with simple tasks such as sweeping the house, setting the table, preparing a recipe ... this will make you feel useful and your self-esteem will improve.

- Compliment him when he acts appropriately and respectfully. If the child asks for things with good manners, makes suggestions and expresses his wishes or needs without demanding, we should congratulate him on this. If you get reinforcement, you will surely act that way again and gradually incorporate that type of behavior.

A child who behaves in a dominant, uncompromising and bossy way with the people around him is not a happy child. For this reason, we must be aware that norms and limits are necessary for children to develop in a healthy way. We must be clear about this idea so that the child learns at home that there are limits and that others must be respected despite the fact that their interests sometimes conflict with ours.

If by carrying out these recommendations, the behavior continues to persist, it is advisable to seek counseling and psychological counseling so that a professional can help the child to train their social skills.

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