Unlike many parents that I know, I pride myself on being honest about who my son is and what he needs. I have so many friends who refuse to admit that they did not give birth to “the perfect child”. They make statements such as, “Everyone keeps saying my daughter is mischievous, but I don’t see it.” Sooooo, you think that it was okay for her to take a toy from another child and push them down when no one was looking?! Ok 😑 It is true that no one wants for anyone to think anything negative about their children. But understanding and admitting who our children truly are will help us guide them into who they need to be.
I hear all the time that my two year old son is “bossy”. My goodness is he ever so “bossy”. Sit here. Read this. No, don’t play with that car. Play with this car. Change the channel. (I can go on for days). After observing his daily bossiness I decide to do some research into what this means about who he is as a person. Many things that I read stated that he will “grow out of it” by the age of four. Yet, one piece of literature stated that some children are born “assertive”. (Bold, decisive, self-assured). This intrigued me and I began doing some research on qualities of leaders. According to Forbes, leaders must be about to delegate tasks to the appropriate individuals who can get the job done. (Mommy you play the drums and he can play the guitar). Granted my sons delivery is trash (yes it’s terrible) but groomed properly he will be in the position to rule the world.
Many black boys are told that being assertive can be seen as aggressive as it relates to the rest of the world. Just like we encourage little black girls not to embody their “magic” and to be silent. I’ve decided against that logic. My son is bossy… Yes. But he also has the makings of a great leader. So what can I do to make sure that he becomes a leader and not a bully?
- Practice what I preach. I have to show him what it looks like to be decisive and confident while having respect for what others desire.
- Communicate. It’s not to early to have REAL conversations. I have to ask him how he would feel if someone talked to him in an inappropriate tone. I have to ask him why he is choosing to “delegate” tasks in such a manner. Just because you want to is not appropriate.
- Making sure he says please and thank you. And mean them. Saying them genuinely.
- Listening. Great leaders know when to listen to others. They understand that they don’t have all of the answers.
- Teach him the importance of team work. Great leaders understand that greatness can come from collaboration.