Four Year Old Girl is a Control Freak - FamilyEducation
Four Year Old Girl is a Control Freak
03/04/2011 at 15:29 PM

I babysit for a 4 year old little girl who is a control freak. I have much child care experience and I have NEVER seen anything like it before. She wants to control EVERYTHING. She has a little sister and she orders her around all day long. She also tries to order all the adults around. I have cared for many girls including my own and know they are naturally bossy. But this is much more extreme.
If you try to play a game with her, she won't let anyone else play, just her. If you try to do a puzzle with her, she grabs the puzzle pieces away from everyone and does it herself. If the children play dress up, including a cousin who is 5 years older, she grabs all the dress up clothes away from everyone, tries to put most of them on herself, and then will give each child one thing that she allows them to wear. I have tried getting her involved with a toy, getting everything set up for her and waiting until she is occupied with it. Then I will give her sister something else to play with. This child drops what she is doing, stomps across the room, and grabs the toy away from her sister. I do as much as I can to try to get her to share but it is a never ending battle. It is very stressful and there is no peace unless she is getting her way. I am also not the parent so there is only so much I can do and I have no idea how this is handled when I am not there. I thought she would grow out of it but it is getting worse. She now has started yelling at people including adults and telling them off when she wants her way. She goes to preschool and seems to do well there. She did tell me though that she didn't like school because she had to follow the rules and she didn't like the teacher telling her what to do. The parents are aware and they do discipline her especially her mother but the behavior continues .... Any ideas? Thanks.

During my many years of child care, have observed and experienced the behavior you describe. Consider sitting down and talking to the parents about the child's behavior and the effect her behavior is having on her younger sister. Present a list of interventions you have tried and a list of suggested interventions/solutions. Only when you and the parents are on the same page will her behavior improve. If the parents are unwilling to sit and discuss this with you or put interventions into place, then find employment elsewhere.