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Why is my young child so bossy?

Your little tyrant is showing you in no uncertain terms that his budding superego is in a fever-pitch of development. At this age, toddlers are struggling to master their bodies and their environment. They feel a flush of power, since they can now use their words and bodies to control what people do. They really enjoy play-acting, and that’s a wonderful and important part of being three. A three-year-old gets lost in the imaginative process, and we want them to learn from and enjoy play-acting. And they don’t yet feel the pull of what is socially okay. But the tiny superego is blossoming; the internal sense of mommy and daddy, deciding what is right, what is wrong, what is allowed, and what isn’t. The superego is still very primitive at age three; very black and white, “my way or the highway.” It’s really common to see three-year-olds behaving like little tyrants, ordering people around, trying out their new dictatorial tendencies.
Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine

Your young child is bossy as he/she struggles to master his/her body and the environment. He/she feels a flush of power, since he/she can now use his/her words and body to control what people do. 

Young children really enjoy play-acting, get lost in the imaginative process, and they don’t yet feel the pull of what is socially appropriate. The superego is still very primitive at that age, very black and white, “my way or the highway.” It’s really common to see them behaving like little tyrants, ordering people around, trying out their new dictatorial tendencies.

 

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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.