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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My 6 year old boy is very bossy and absolutly refuses to play

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My 6 year old boy is very bossy and absolutly refuses to play something that his brother or other kids want to play. He always has to be in control and tell others what to do. If one of his friends suggests a different activity he says "No" and will not play if it is not something he is interested in. I am at a loss of what to do about this. He only does this with other kids that he is very comfortable with, only in our home. I have not seen this behavior at school or other kids' houses. He is also very rude in his responses to me and his Dad. Time out is loosing its effectiveness. Do you have any suggestions?
When your son misbehaves in the manner that he does, what is your reaction to the inappropriate behavior? Have you ever tried talking to him?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have tried about everything. Sometimes I am very calm and try to tell him how his behavior affects other people and that they do not like to be bossed around and told what to do. I have tried to have him earn a reward by playing something his brother wants to play instead of something he wants to. I have yelled and gotten angry, I have told him how sad and dissappointed it makes me when he acts like that. He just does not seem to get it. He will also yell at his younger brother (almost 4 yrs old) sometimes, and I am sure that he has picked that up from me yelling. I am trying to not yell and use other methods, but am stumped! I have tried to talk to him when he is behaving and give him positive feedback when he does play nice with others.

If your son continues to be bossy, remove him from the situation immediately. If he throws a fit, completely ignore it. Once he has calmed down, tell him the appropriate way that he needs to behave. When you discipline your son, the main goal is to teach him rather than to punish him. When he is disrespectful to the way he responds to you and your husband, stop him dead in his tracks. He needs to be told constantly that you are not going to accept that type of behavior.


It seems as though he has picked up this behavior from somewhere else. He may have been influenced by older children or even a television show. He is too young to be acting in such a manner. You have many more years to go in dealing with behavior issues so you must get control of the behavior now.


You are correct in that you need to place more emphasis on the positive behavior. He may be acting inappropriately just to get attention. Try to ignore the bad behavior unless he is hurting others. REALLY put more emphasis on anything that he does correct.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

What is an example of how I can "stop him dead in his tracks"?

When your son is rude and disrespectful in the way in which he responds to you, everything must stop. You stop what you are doing and tell your son to stop what he is doing. In an authoritative yet calm manner, tell your son that his behavior is unacceptable. Tell him the correct way that he needs to speak to you and then have him demonstrate it in that way. You will need to do this constantly until he gets the idea that he cannot get away with his rude and disrespectful behavior. Do not let him get away with anything. You are the parent. Do not allow your 6 year old son to disrespect your role as the parent. Usually sons are fearful of their fathers. Has your husband been too lenient? If so, he must change his ways and demand the respect that he deserves.
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