My daughter is too helpful... How do I change this?

Shannon - posted on 11/16/2011 ( 50 moms have responded )

23

31

0

My 6 yr old loves to help others...even when they don't want her to. Lately she has been getting into trouble at school for it. The kids are mean to her and call her "Bossy." She means well, but she likes to be in control of everything! Any suggestions on how to correct this behavior without completely breaking her spirit of helpfulness?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Carla - posted on 11/20/2011

4,252

83

590

I am glad you girls are admitting control issues. That is the first step. Now, it is time to put feet to your words. Women were never intended to carry the burdens we modern women carry, and it has resulted in sleep disorders, strange syndromes and mental health issues. Start immediately, first ask God to help you relinquish the reins of control. Then start delegating responsibility. Shannon, when Daddy walks in the door after being out of state, he NEEDS to get reconnected to the family and to the routine. Let him cook dinner, if he's a cook, if he's not, let him cut veggies, stir the pasta, or play with the children, give them their baths, just SOMETHING to give him a feeling of belonging and contributing. Men NEED to feel needed!

Our circle of friends are retired and retiring corrections officers, and you talk about control issues! Consequently, they married strong women with control issues. Having them in the house 24/7 is nerve-shattering, and, because we were used to doing everything ourselves, it is difficult to share. One of our friends raised both sets of their respective children, then just within the last 5 years, adopted 3 children out of the State System that were abandoned, abused, etc. The wife was used to her own routine, her own schedule, and didn't want to share. They are now divorcing. It is heart-breaking.

I don't want you guys to get to this point, so I ask you to have a little talk with Jesus, and ask Him to show you how to share control, even give some things completely over to Hubby, give the children specific duties and allow the burden to be taken off your shoulders a little. You won't regret it.

This is a good thread. There are usually underlying reasons for our behavior, and it's good to see it coming out. You will benefit, and so will your family, if you share the family with your family.

God bless, ladies! Being a control freak is kinda normal for women, but we always feel better when we let others share our load.

Linda - posted on 11/30/2011

7

13

0

My 6 yr old also is a born leader (aka STRONG willed child). Although environment (first-born, controlling mommy, etc) also can influence a child tend toward bossy, When you compound a "hard-wired" leader with first-born, oh my! My daughter was directing her friends' play ("stand here, do this, say that...") until we talked about how SHE feels when others even suggest how to play. It took some reminding & pointing out that other children wouldn't want to be her friend if she always told them what & how to play. I'm also constantly reminding her to "You take care of you first" (do what you're responsible for BEFORE worrying about how others are doing). The reminder "You're not the mommy, let me handle the discipline" has been heard more than once & she STILL tries to put her sister in timeout. I find that things she can be in CONTROL of or be the leader work better than just giving her a task. The best thing I've done is to learn the D-I-S-C model for personalities (more info @ http://www.personality-insights.com/DISC... or http://www.personality-insights.com/) a really easy & useful tool to understand how others perceive what you say. Also useful to understand our own (& our children's) weaknesses, so you can work to improve on them. This also has helped me to understand when my 2nd daughter gets stubborn it's because she feels pushed (very different cause, similar effect). Dr Robert Rohm has helped me to understand my husband & saved my sanity with my kids! (I especially like the "parenting flip chart")

Karen - posted on 12/27/2011

55

0

7

Oh, dear, that sweet girl. :-D Well, she needs to know that while she's being such a good girl for wanting to help others, she needs to share the helping. You can ask her, "how do you feel when you help others?" She'll say (of course!), "I feel really good." Then you can say, "Don't you think other people want the chance to feel good, too? Sometimes people feel good when they help themselves and do things themselves, and sometimes they feel good when they also help others. Sometimes they also feel good when they help you. It's time for you to share that good feeling and let other people do the helping, too."

Your girl sounds so nice. And it sounds like she would like to be a leader (bossy people often do!). Leaders know how to help, but they also ask others to help in good ways, too.

KIMBERLY - posted on 11/29/2011

19

22

3

you are right to want to correct behavior without breaking that spirit...i suggest you sit down and talk to her about how you love that she has a spirit of wanting to help...let her know you support her, but...there is a time to help and a time to let others do it for themselves or they will never learn. teach her to ask if she may help before she goes in. the "bossy" thing can get out of control if not directed. let her know you and the teacher love that she is a leader and not a follower, but there are times when she must let others do for themselves so they can become who God wants them to be also.

Teresa - posted on 11/25/2011

681

37

55

I have been reading the recent posts and think, "it's no wonder our kids get bossy." They see their role models doing it. It's a thin line. I don't want to sound like "the boss" in our household but when I have to be at work a certain it's just easier to do some things myself. I'm working on that though.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

50 Comments

View replies by

KIMBERLY - posted on 12/01/2011

19

22

3

It is always so great when God sends the opportunity to show a child by example...they seem to understand it better that way. Best of luck to you and I look forward to hearing about the progress she makes going in a positive direction. :)

Shannon - posted on 12/01/2011

23

31

0

Linda and Kimberly, thank you so much for the advice! I actually had a GREAT opportunity to teach her a lesson the other day. She was doing homework and made a mistake. When I went to erase it, she got mad at me and said "I wanted to do it MYSELF!" I said really?... It happened again and I erased it for her. She was so upset! I told her "Now you know how your friends feel when you do things for them after they tell you they do not need your help." she sat and thought and said "okaaaaaay, I get it." I kept doing it and pointing it out to her. I could see the wheels turning, so we'll see if it sticks. :-).

Ursula - posted on 11/26/2011

200

23

13

Love reading your thread for the past few days..have been encouraged by just reading your post..truely God is busy in our lives. there is so much work to be done in my life too in order to bring about a change in my families life. :)

Ursula - posted on 11/26/2011

200

23

13

Love reading your thread for the past few days..have been encouraged by just reading your post..truely God is busy in our lives. there is so much work to be done in my life too in order to bring about a change in my families life. :)

Carla - posted on 11/26/2011

4,252

83

590

Ya just gotta love God! Whatever we need, if we are truly seeking Him, He brings the answers to us. God bless, darling!

Shannon - posted on 11/26/2011

23

31

0

Carla, you CAN'T be as happy as I am! You THOUGHT your post about your husband was unrelated, but it is EXACTLY what I am going through now. I've been praying for God to change my husband and let him see how wrong he is!!! God used you to show me that that's not where my ficus should be...I have issues of my own... Oh my gosh!!!! I'm NOT perfect!!! :-0 I am being soooooo blessed by this thread! Thank you all!!!

Carla - posted on 11/26/2011

4,252

83

590

This thread reminds me of something totally unrelated, but relevant: My husband and I were separated. I prayed for him continually, and my prayer went something like this: "Lord, give him no rest until he listens to You! Make him stop (this and that), and realize he belongs at home". But guess what? He started telling ME things I was doing. But I'd say 'No, Lord, we are talking about Mark!' He just kept telling me about my faults. I finally got it. I started working on me, and Mark fell in line. Same thing here. Our children mirror our actions, so if the children are being bossy, there's a role model somewhere ;) I am soooo glad you started this thread, Shannon!

Shannon - posted on 11/25/2011

23

31

0

Teresa, these posts are a real eye opener! You're right, it is a thin line and we have to ask God for help in staying on our side. :-)

Ursula - posted on 11/23/2011

200

23

13

@ Shannon... I forget to mention..I was and still are a busy bee at times until I met this wonderful lady (Ms Carla) and mentor who watches over my shoulders! lol!
Ive found flylady.com helpful in helping me get a little organize (shining sink and wearing my high heel during 'me' time.. ;D.
enjoy thanksgiving tomorrow xxx

Ursula - posted on 11/21/2011

200

23

13

Yes thank you Ms Carla...SUPA love your advice! One is never tooo old to learn. Its time to stop being busyu like Martha and start to sit more at the feed of Jesus! God Bless xxx ;)

Shannon - posted on 11/21/2011

23

31

0

Awwwe thanks Carla! I'm 37 years young :-). Thanks for the great ideas. Some of them are things I do already and some are definitely going to be implemented. Organizational skills are at the top of my list.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Carla - posted on 11/21/2011

4,252

83

590

Well, you look a LOT younger than I was when I learned that, Shannon, so good for you!

Now, sit down and have a nice talk with him along with talking to the Lord. Maybe between the 'two men in your life' you can get your workload down to a manageable place. Also, it may be helpful to look up organizational skills online. Sometimes our schedules need a little tweaking. Invest in some decorative bins or baskets to put the childrens' toys in so they can learn (yes, they can!) to put away their toys when done playing. When they walk in the door, have a mat or cubby where they put their shoes, hooks for coats and don't let them in the house without placing their things there. Have them bring their jammies downstairs with them when they come down for breakfast. There are tons of things your family can do to help keep the house neat. It just takes CONSISTENCY!

God bless, darling, we're pullin' for ya!

Shannon - posted on 11/21/2011

23

31

0

Wooooooow Carla! You just read a page out of my marriage! Lol. I've won a FEW Emmys for my theatrics! I JUST realized that the huffin' n puffin' doesn't work. I'm starting to ask now. I haven't fully let go of the theatrics yet. :-). I have to say, my husband does help with dishes and ironing. I have come to grips with the house not looking perfect... But HE hasn't! I have spent my days cleaning hard to make sure that when he got home the house looks the way he likes it...picture perfect. I'm at the point now where, if that's what he wants, HE do it himself. I'm tired of being tired so that everyone else in the house has what they need while I fall apart.
I'm definitely going to have a talk with my Dad so that I can get some guidance on how to scale back and still be the mother and wife that He called me me to be.

Carla - posted on 11/21/2011

4,252

83

590

lol, Shannon, this is as good as an hour on the therapy couch ;)

I think most women expect husbands to know what needs to be done and do it without asking. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus I, too, expected my sweet hubby to intuitively know what I needed, but he didn't have a clue! So I amped it up a notch, and would go into theatrics (oh yes!), sighing as I picked up his dirty socks out of the living room, rushing around trying to clean house before making dinner, you know the routine, I'm sure. All this did was make me angry because he WASN'T getting it! Then he would innocently ask 'honey, why are you mad?' I wanted to belt him!

Mens' thought processes are totally the opposite of ours. Their egos are extremely fragile. While we are nest makers, our husbands are the go-out-and-conquer-the-world guys. As long as they can walk through the house without stepping on too much stuff, they are good (most, I say, not all). Men are single-minded, women multi-task continually. And all this stuff I have learned in the last 11 years of a 39 year marriage! This is why God tells us to be married a lifetime, because it truly DOES take a lifetime to understand how our mate's minds work!

Here's what I have learned: No, your house doesn't always have to look like the cover of House Beautiful (this was a great shock to me). The world will NOT come to an end if you don't get all the laundry done today, or even put away today! Our kids won't die of germs if they don't get a bath tonight, and if I don't get the dishes done tonight, they will be patiently waiting for me tomorrow! I CAN let my husband help with chores and no one will take away my wife certificate. My kids won't die if their rooms are messy (this was a GREAT revelation to me ;)) The results of these revelations are a calm in me that I didn't know existed.

When you ask the Lord what you need to let go of, He is going to tell you. Trust me, I know. My health doesn't allow for the major house cleans I used to do, but you know what? That's okay. Cobwebs aren't going to come down and devour us. God wants peace in our lives. When we are in a fever pitch about everything, there absolutely cannot be any type of peace. And it affects our spouses and children.

Life, marriage and child rearing are hard work. We absolutely NEED the Holy Spirit's help to help us understand what we need to do, and what can be let go of. Jesus had a mother, and I'm sure He watched this very thing in their house. Maybe He sat Mary down and had a talk with her--can you imagine? 'Mother, you NEED to slow down!' He DID have that talk with Martha, when Jesus came to Lazarus, Mary and Martha's house. He said 'Martha, Martha, you are troubled by many things, but Mary is sitting at My feet, listening, and I WILL NOT take that away from her!' Martha wanted Jesus to MAKE Mary come help her. Jesus said to her, in essence, 'Martha, come sit down and relax and just listen to Me'. What a wonderful Jesus we serve!

God bless, my pets. We do survive this, in fact, we can thrive, IF we listen and obey.

Shannon - posted on 11/20/2011

23

31

0

Carla- thank you sooo much for your thoughts! I am trying my best to let go. I have to say, I am much better than I was in the beginning. I wouldn't even leave him alone with the baby! HIS baby! I am far beyond that now, but I still have work to do. I trying to get out of the habit of expecting my husband to know when I need help (you know, like when I'm running around the house trying to get 15 things done in 5 mins.) and I've actually started asking for the help.
Angela- I hear ya! I'm getting close to that point. I never get any rest, I am always doing SOMETHING! I am learning to delegate. I have to take Carla's advice and even start giving the kids more responsibility.
It is soooo AMAZING how I get all of this out of my daughter being "too helpful." :-) I'm loving' it!

Apryl - posted on 11/20/2011

38

13

1

Thanks Carla for clearing that up. I understand what you mean about order... everything does need to be "decent and in order" for things to run smoothly. However, I believe any of those tasks you've mentioned would still need to be submitted to Him to get them done. Otherwise they can become just another tasks on the "to do list" we are trying to complete in our own strength and without His loving characteristics showing up in the efforts. The more we rely on Him the lighter our burdens become. Blessings.

Carla - posted on 11/20/2011

4,252

83

590

I believe we are talking about two different types of control here, Apryl. Every mother controls, they HAVE to to get things done. It is not an evil control, it is keeping house in order. Where the problem comes in is where we think that it's too much bother or think no one will ever be able to do it as well or quick as we do. This is where a mother/wife teaching comes into play. We need to be teaching our children constantly how to cook, clean, tend children, have Godly relationships with our husbands, etc. Manipulation is another subject altogether.

I hope this clears up any misunderstanding.

God bless

Apryl - posted on 11/20/2011

38

13

1

Carla, I don't believe Jesus will ever show us where we need to share the control when HE is supposed to be in control of our lives. I know the Word/Bible tells us that the Fruit of the Spirit is...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and SELF- control. (Galatians 5:22-23 AMP) Quite often we MISplace the control we need to have on ourselves and try to pass it off on controlling others. We can only walk as an example of Jesus and pray that He shows us where we can be of SERVICE to others to draw them closer to His likeness. Control of others is from the evil one which also is a form of manipulation/witchcraft (Galatians 5:19-21)....For God is the only Sovereign One!

Angela - posted on 11/20/2011

2,319

9

319

I have severe fatigue through my workload at work. I'm often staying back an hour or more to finish tasks because my Manager overloads me! My role is 2nd in command so the boss rather depends on me. I got a load more stuff to do (I mean in addition to my regular duties) a couple of days ago. I delegated a load of stuff to a colleague and he got the job done fine! I'm going to start doing this more. It's no good letting your health suffer because you overwork yourself through not trusting anyone else!

And it's the same at home. Every member of the household has a role to play. Even the dog can be given a job!

My friend had 8 kids and wouldn't let anyone else in the house do the ironing! Her husband was ex-Army and would've loved to do the ironing himself. They were very clean and tidy, lovely orderly house (largely due to her hard work and her husband's military-style organisation) but I used to think that men who wanted to do ironing were very thin on the ground. Weird that she never let him do it - I wouldn't have been asked twice - a man that likes to do the ironing is something we'd all like! LOL!!

Apryl - posted on 11/19/2011

38

13

1

Teresa, Lol @ your #2 comment... "I know I'll do it right!" I can hear myself in that comment. Righteousness is good but of course that is under God's power not ours. Blessings Sister you will overcome....."We are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus!"

Shannon - posted on 11/18/2011

23

31

0

Teresa, this definitely helps. As I read your post and Apryl's post, I could see some control issues that I have! My marriage is not strained, but Daddy is gone often because he works out of state. This leaves me being Mommy AND Daddy at times. When Daddy comes back, I STILL take care of everything. 1) Because it's easier to do than to explain how to do, 2) I know I'll do it right (lol), 3) He would interrupt "the flow of things"... I know! Control issues! Lol reading these post has really got me examining my own issues.
April- That's some powerful stuff you just said!!!! God is REALLY teaching me some lessons on this one! I never thought of the first born in that way...powerful! Lord, I hear you...now guide me.

Apryl - posted on 11/18/2011

38

13

1

Teresa, I too am the oldest and have had control issues....It has allowed me to find scriptures to meditate on and speak aloud to then have God transform my self-induced messes into testimonies. It all works together for our good as we trust and rely on Him to guide us rather than us doing something thinking God will get on board with our plans.

Apryl - posted on 11/18/2011

38

13

1

I truly believe the oldest are created to carry more responsibility because all "firsts" are unto the Lord. We are usually called to set the example for the other children and then usually for the rest of our communities as we grow older. It's training ground for a higher calling. The Bible tells us to "train up a child in the way that they should go" meaning guiding them towards their God-given bent. I would certainly pray about it and find out what God impresses upon your heart about the situation. I believe our children mirror our actions back to us so that God can get some lessons about ourselves to us through their actions and then to make the necessary changes that God guides us to make. He will guide you no matter what the outcome may be. Praying God's discernment for you. Blessings!

Teresa - posted on 11/18/2011

681

37

55

I am an older sister to a younger sister and I would boss her around. As adults, it was eye-opening to me the day she told me that I stll bossed her around and that she didn't appreciate it. I don't see myself as bossy but I do know that I have control issues that I have worked on and with God have dealt with and am much more easy-going. I still have control issues and have to constantly remind myself that God is in control of what I cannot. Maybe a little advanced for what your daughter is experiencing but it is what have personally experienced. My parents had a strained marriage that ended in divorce and I think that environment fostered my control issues. I know nothing of your family dynamic, once again this is just my experience. Hope this helps in some way.

Shannon - posted on 11/18/2011

23

31

0

Teresa, I think part of it is a control issue. I'm trying to get it under control now before she loses her friends. She's not the only child. She has a little sister that she tries to boss around too.:-)

Teresa - posted on 11/18/2011

681

37

55

My son used to hang out alot wiht a female cousin and her bossines at first was cute, but HE outgrew it. They don't hang out much anymore due to age. She is bossy, but I know ALOT of bossy little girls. Do you think it is a control issue? Is she an only child?

Ursula - posted on 11/18/2011

200

23

13

:) goodnite everyone. can I ask what is she doing right now? *joking* continue to be a blessing everyone xxx :)

Shannon - posted on 11/18/2011

23

31

0

To EVERYONE! Thank you guys sooo much for all of your posts. I really appreciate your help. This is my first time on this site, but it will not be my last! Be blessed!

Shannon - posted on 11/18/2011

23

31

0

WOW, Rebekah! You may heve hit the jackpot!! I believe that it is a mixture of wanting to help and needing to be on control. She is a very sweet child and wants the best for everyone, but she also has to have control over what game she plays, how it's played. She gets upset if things aren't done the way SHE wants it done. The "jackpot" is that I DO do everything at home. Now that I think about it, she has actually mentioned that to me. She watches me juggle a lot with little or no break in between...this is something to really think about. Thanks so much!!!

Shannon - posted on 11/18/2011

23

31

0

Carla, I know what you mean about being the oldest. I'm the baby and my sister was...IS the same way. She fixes all my issues to this day. Mia is the olsest ans because of this, I try to make sure that I don't place that on her. Besides, she never gives me the chance to ask. :-) I think it comes natural for the oldest child. I have explained to her that her sister won't learn if she does it for her. I will try to channel it in a different direction. Thanks!

Shannon - posted on 11/18/2011

23

31

0

Lolol! Angela you are too funny! You're right, loves getting praised for the things she does. She also loves to stand out!

Rebekah - posted on 11/18/2011

1,441

19

174

Is it truly "helpfulness" or is it "people pleasing" or is it "control"?

Personally, if I were you, I would teach my daughter what true "service" means by using examples from the Bible.

But I would also try to find out from my daughter why she feels she needs to do "everything". Do you do everything at home? Does she see that you control things? I personally, am not a big fan of the "birth order" philosophy. Kids learn from what they see and who they want to model.

If I had this issue with my child, I would truly bring it to God and ask for the root of the issue. God knows, trust Him and ask Him. Then you will know how to address it.

Carla - posted on 11/18/2011

4,252

83

590

Hey, Angela, wouldn't it be nice if there were no first-born? It's a heavy burden ;)

Angela - posted on 11/18/2011

2,319

9

319

Carla's mentioned an important point there that had crossed my mind but I never raised it in my own post - the possibility that this child is the oldest in the family!

I was the oldest too and very conscious of my role in the "pecking order" within the family. If I struggled with anything that a sibling was better at I was determined to win my battle, after all as the oldest child it doesn't do if a younger sibling is better at something than me.

I'm still doing it at work! Can't help myself!

Carla - posted on 11/18/2011

4,252

83

590

Is she the oldest? I am the oldest, and I was the same way. I helped raise my 4 other siblings, and was 'little mother' at 4. It is difficult to break this, but for her own good, you must. She is probably very precocious, and wants everyone to succeed. So attack this like 'Honey, we want sister to be able to learn her ____ (whatever subject she is doing for her sister), and she can't learn if you do it for her.' Giving her specific tasks, as the others have mentioned will give her the sense of accomplishment she craves, and hopefully keep her out of others business. Have the teacher tackle this the same way--'Susie, Jacob can't learn his math if you do it for him.' Have the teacher give her jobs, like cleaning the blackboard, etc. Elder children often have the 'parent' mentality, because, Mom or Dad says 'watch your brother' or 'will you hand me the wipes for baby', etc. It equates to being the caregiver. 50 years later, I am STILL fighting jumping into my siblings lives to clean up the mess they have made. I guess it doesn't help that they always have NEEDED help with their messes, and come to my husband and I for help. We were the enablers.



Don't EVER make her feel bad about helping--instead channel her helpfulness to different activities. Maybe she can help the elderly lady next door clean her yard or maybe a morning with Grama to help her clean. Our little granddaughter used to spend hours with a spray bottle of water and a paper towel cleaning the kitchen floor. It made her feel needed.



Kids mimic what they see, that's how they learn. It's up to us to model behavior that is uplifting and encouraging. Being helpful is a wonderful trait--just tweak her a little ;)



God bless, sweetheart

Angela - posted on 11/18/2011

2,319

9

319

Maybe she just wants to "shine" - sort of stand out as the most capable, willing person? This isn't rare - lots of kids (and adults) are like this.

I agree that giving her a few tasks and maybe teaching her some new skills will help.

I was like this as a child - until I realised that letting other kids do their own stuff for themselves was a way of making myself shine even more! (they never did it quite as well as I would have done, LOL!!)

It's all about getting approval and praise from others. Try praising her for leaving other people alone and not interfering.

Hope this helps!

Ursula - posted on 11/17/2011

200

23

13

correct! she's just a typical 6yr old that can be very busy at times..give her a BIG hug! as they grow older they might not be that helpful ;)

Shannon - posted on 11/17/2011

23

31

0

That's a great idea! Maybe if i give her a few chores around the house it will help her out. It seems like she needs to feel responsible for something. Thanks for the help, Ursula!

Ursula - posted on 11/17/2011

200

23

13

aaw..she so adorable.. :)
the only problem is they dont know when to stop hey? lol! my girl is 8 now and loves helping me. yes, even when I cook. ;)
have you tried giving her small task at home to keep her busy while the others are doing their work?

Shannon - posted on 11/17/2011

23

31

0

Yes, she is the same way at home. An example would be that she did her sister's homework when she left the table. She does things not only for the teacher, but for every student as well. They tell her they don't need her help, but she does it anyway. She's so busy doing things for everyone else that she can't focus on what she's suppose to do.

Ursula - posted on 11/16/2011

200

23

13

Personally I think its a phase..6yr olds LOVES to help. working with the preschoolers I see that a lot. ;)
kids love to help teacher in class! its apart of who she is. if its bothering the other kids in class, it depends on the teacher to teach them to take turns. those kinda talks are good during morning rings and maybe just by saying its so and so turn to do it today not forgetting to thank her for her willingness. :)
how is she at home? does she have the same attitude at home? I would nt worry TOO much if I were you. its sometimes just a phase.

Rachel - posted on 11/16/2011

204

0

4

so, her issue is less with being helpful, and more with "let ME do it"? An unwillingness to share the responsibilities? Perhaps a few lessons in "Let not thy left hand see what thy right hand doeth" would help her see the true peace of quiet service, so she isn't seeking the public glory of having to do everything at school. In fact, I think my own 6 year old could use that. I

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms