Monday, June 23, 2014

I Have the Bossiest Kid on the Block...And It's Not So Bad

Show me a place with kids and I'll show you my daughter bossing them around.
There. I said it.
All of you who are my friends who also have kids we play with know this. We've discussed it at length. My child has been known to boss around the best of them - kids older, kids younger. She is an equal opportunity bosser-arounder.
I was watching her today at Chick Fil A and I couldn't help to be grateful that God made her this way.
You see, you might NOT know this about me (unless I've met you, ever), but I can also be a little bossy from time to time. You'd think I would hate this about her or that we'd fight a lot because of it. Heaven knows she tries to show me everyday that she's the boss of me too. But, I really like it about her. I just see a kid who is assertive, social, isn't afraid to stand up for herself, who is smart, who uses her wit to get what she wants (or out of things). I see a kid who, if groomed properly now, can turn into a teenager who won't be swayed by others, who'll stand up for herself and who won't allow people to hurt her feelings and destroy her spirit. I see a kid who, if groomed properly, can become an adult who could be an amazing employee or boss. I guess I see her less like this as a 3 year old and more of how being "bossy" can be such a wonderful attribute later in life.
The things is, we all know kids are born with certain personality traits. Kids like my daughter would be called bossy, or perhaps strong willed. Many parents might be tempted to break her of this spirit, to start calling her "defiant" because she has opinions and keep her personality "in check." I guess I would rather bend her spirit and teach her how to be herself without it being a negative thing.
I want to teach her to be assertive, but not overstep her bounds. Persuasive without being offensive. A leader without being overbearing. As women, we need more women who are smart, strong willed, but still strive to be kind to others (especially other women), to be respectful, to care about other people's feelings. I want my daughter to grow up knowing how to be compassionate, empathetic, and brave without being a bully, rude, or mean.
There are so many times I hear her in the play area, telling the other kids how to play, or putting her little hands on her hips and wagging her finger. I try and step in to tell her that not everyone wants to be bossed around. But I want her to learn that from being around other kids, too. To learn how people want to be treated. I want her to be able to understand where people are coming from and appreciate that other people are different. I also want her to learn that it's OK to lead but it's also OK to let other people make the rules sometimes, too.
Yeah, I have the bossy kid. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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