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How can I handle a bossy toddler?

It’s our job to help the little dictator get a taste of democracy; or at least accept the role of Vice President. Help him learn the rules of give and take, taking turns, and asking nicely. These skills take years to develop, but this is a really important time to lay the foundation of how your little one will respond to, and create, rules and order in his life.
Next time Junior starts ordering you around, play with it a bit, but with the ultimate idea in mind that you are the boss. If you have time to play, go ahead and follow his rules and orders. But sneak in little requests, like, “Oh, that works better when you say please.” Or, “Now that you made me dump out these blocks, let’s clean them up, let’s take turns seeing who can get the blocks into the bin!” If you don’t have time to play, or if he’s asking you to do things that aren’t nice, safe, or allowed, remember: you’re the parent, and he’s counting on you to know better. Say, “I know you want me to jump out the window, but that’s not allowed. We’d get hurt. Let’s jump up and down instead.”
If he throws a tantrum, that’s okay. He’s upset that he’s not the boss -- but deep down, he’s also relieved. And over time, with your help, that primitive, controlling little superego of his won’t be quite so tough.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.