Saturday, January 31, 2009

Leadership qualities or just plain bossy?

I wonder about this a lot and it seems to be surfacing more now that Shea is talking more.

With Molly, she bossed me up one side down the next until I would get fed up and say, "Hey, stop bossing me around all the time!" That gets her attention but she still slips into it. She may put a please or thank you somewhere near it but at the root she is still bossing me around. Occasionally, I will say, "Tip your servers. They have done a great job tonight!" which may or may not get the desired result.

Is this leadership? Or just being spoiled rotten? Is this over indulging my kids? Or is this how they figure out what they can and can not get away with? Do all kids do this? Or only kids that aren't spanked? Hmmm. Perplexing.

Recently, I volunteered with Molly's 5th grade class on a Robotics project. This is something else! It is a multi-week project working with those little LEGO cars that have computers components in them that the kids need to build, program and put through various tasks and challenges. Pretty fun. Some of the kids are so engrossed, they can barely see anything but their "bot". I have never seen some of them so engaged.

They work in pairs and Molly's partner is a wonderfully sweet, gentle kid who, I fear, is being completely bossed around. I could barely watch the day I was there for frustration was high; the flushed cheeks and minor stomping of feet with annoyance. Although I am told it has improved as the project has gone on. I expect this project has as much or more to do with teamwork and problem solving than design and programming.

Now that Shea is talking more, he has slipped into his bossy phase too. Please, tell me it is a phase! "Mom, come here." "You pick up." "Get cookie bar...please." At least, I have gotten him to tag a "polite" word on the end most of the time. But, still I will eventually loose my patience and say, "Hey, stop bossing me around."

They both take it in stride. Isn't that a mom's job to fetch and carry? Dad sometimes too? This is the "entitled kid" generation we are talking about. And, it can be pretty disturbing in some instances. I wonder if it will be different for them if they have kids of their own.

1 comment:

deirdre said...

Hmm. I always had such a low tolerance for it, I just wouldn't let Dylan even get started - but, the flip side of that is he probably does, indeed, have a tougher time asserting himself. My rule is always that "everyone in this family gets treated with respect by everyone else." My general strategy when whininess or bossiness reared its head was to say "I'm sorry, I can't hear you" or "hmm. Would you like to try that one again?"

I always felt "words matter" and I wanted Dylan to know that how he said what he said is almost as important as what he he said.

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