Does your older child boss your younger child? Are you worried about your younger child’s self-esteem? Inside you’ll find 3 parenting tips for building character and handling bossiness.

Childhood Humor:

George bossed and teased his little sister every day. She screamed. She cried. She tattled. It was a nightmare. One day his mother raised her hand to spank George. But George ran down the hall and hid under his bed. His dad hurried after George, got down on his hands and knees, and found George.

“What’s the matter dad?” George asked. “Is mom after you too?”

If your older child bosses and teases your younger child, you don’t have to explode. Read this mother’s letter and learn some tips for handling bossy kids.

A Subscriber Mom’s Letter:

Dear Jean,

I would love some advice in your newsletter regarding a bossiness issue we’re having with our 7-year-old daughter. She is overly bossy with our 4 year old son.

We’ve taught him skills and words to use with her in these situations. He’s getting better, but it doesn’t seem to be toning her down. What can we do to improve this issue?



Your question is perfect, Kim, because almost every parent deals with a bossy child. Even my own son bossed his little brother. I know how nerve racking it can be. I’m glad you’re helping your son. Now let’s focus on toning down your daughter.

Character Building ~ 3 Parenting Tips for Handling Bossy Kids:

Since scolding, yelling, and lecturing rarely help bossy kids, here are 3 suggestions:

First, you’ll need a chart and some star stickers. The top of the chart should say,

Goal ~ I am talking nicely to my brother.

Every time you catch her talking nicely to her brother put a star on her chart. There’s a good chart in my Character Building Kit.

Second, you’ll need the 80 fun bonding activities you received when you subscribed to my newsletter. Use them for her rewards. When your daughter earns 5 stars she can choose one of the fun bonding activities to do with you. In case you can’t find your 80 fun activities, I’m sending you a new list.

Third, when you catch your daughter being bossy, tell her to draw a picture of her bossy behavior. Next, tell her draw a picture of how to treat her brother better. Before she is allowed to play, eat, watch TV etc. she’ll need to bring you the pictures and explain each one. This is a great time for a short discussion on bossiness. If she did a sloppy job, she’ll need to go back and redo her pictures. You may have to use this technique many times.

One more thing, tell your daughter to role play with her brother the better way to treat him.

Finally, don’t forget to create a chart for your little boy too. He’ll love earning stars and fun bonding time with you.

The Bossy Conclusion:

Kim, I hope your daughter tones down her bossiness. I hope these techniques increase her positive character. Not only that, I hope you’ll never have to look under her bed to spank her.

Let me know how things work out, Kim. Thank you for sending this question. I’m sure it will help many parents with similar problems.

Author's Bio: 

Jean Tracy, MSS publishes a Free Parenting Newsletter. Subscribe at and receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids.

Subscribe to Jean's FREE Parenting Skills Blog at and receive a Free Parenting Tip with each post.

If you liked the above parenting tips, pick up Jean’s Character Building Kit at with its special chart and 80 bonding rewards.