Our first born is a leader. Our first born likes to be in charge. Some days, if all the little children aren't following her around - doing what she says - she's not happy.
How do I not squish her gifts and teach her to be respectful at the same time?
I believe that it's ok to be a leader. I am a leader - we need leaders! I believe it's ok to be in charge. I like to be in charge - we need strong people to take charge. I believe it's ok to know what you want and to go for it.
But, I don't believe it's ok to be
This is what I'm doing/saying:
"Sophie, I want to hear your voice and why you're upset." pause... and allow her to share.
"You need to be respectful and not yell at others or you may go to your room. You may join us when you're ready to be nice."
"If you treat your friends that way, you won't have any friends left." Yes, I really do say that. I believe that's a natural consequence, and that's big in our home.
The above strategies work very well, and I'm pretty unemotional with her these days, but I don't want to just accept it and move on. I want to guide her to be the leader God created her to be, but she needs to lead with grace and compassion.
As I talk through it with others and even write it at this moment, it doesn't sound like that big of a deal - but, seriously, she's pretty controlling and in the moment it appears to be a bit disrespectful and inappropriate to me, so I want to nip it and guide her young.
Am I making any sense? :)
Have you experienced these behaviors with your first born children? Or any children? What has worked for you?
I'm writing to ask for some encouragement, guidance and wisdom.
Oh, please do share!
(Background: We had a playdate this morning with 2 other girls ages 3 and 6, so my frustration is a result of that experience, I believe. Now, we really do love playdates, and I believe they're great learning experiences. However, the behaviors listed above are more extreme in a larger group of children. She's gotten to a pretty peaceful place in our routine.)