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How to Help a Control Freak Child

by Kay Ireland

Everyone has a few control-freak tendencies. Whether you like to be in charge behind the wheel or can't stand it when someone else does the cooking, it's human nature to want things your way. Of course, when the person taking over happens to be your small, stubborn child, things can get a little rocky. Control-freak children hate change and want to be the head honchos of their home. Take your controlling kid out of the driver's seat and help him loosen up when it really counts.

Offer consistency and predictability in your child's routine. Most control-freak kids hate change, which can lead to fighting, pouting and crankiness. With a regular routine, your child can stay calm and know what to expect, so not everything is a huge battle between the two of you.

Allow your child to choose from two or three options when you find yourself in a tug of war. This allows your little one some semblance of control, even though you're the one who is really calling the shots. Whether it's what to eat for breakfast or which outfit to wear, having choices can help calm a control freak.

Give your control-freak child responsibilities around your home. When he has specific jobs to do, he can focus on perfecting those instead of trying to micromanage everything else that goes on in the house. Put him in charge of the family garden or ask that he take care of fish so he feels like he's making important decisions and doing things on his own.

Remind your child when he's being overly controlling. Simply asking him to calm down and take a break might be enough for him to relax and let go of the reins.

Pick your battles when it comes to duking it out with a control-freak child. If he has his heart set on something and it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, let it go. That way, you'll have more leverage when it comes to more important stuff, like safety precautions in the car or acceptable behavior out in public. Listen to your child's request and if it's something harmless, say yes whenever you can.

Model relaxed behavior for your child. A controlling nature can definitely be a learned trait, especially if you find it hard to relax and go with the flow. Take a break from life and spend a whole day doing out-of-the-ordinary activities, turning the choices over to your child and letting your hair down. When you're uptight, you could end up passing that personality on to your child.

About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.

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