The ‘B’ word

Bossy boots! I’ve never really thought much about the ‘B’ word up until recently, you know, until after Princess was called bossy a few times. And the more that I think about it now, the more I don’t like the word or the way it is said, and no, it’s not just because Princess has been labelled with it. It is more that when it is said, it is said with such a negative connotation, but really, is it such a bad thing?

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When I initially started thinking about the term ‘bossy’ I wanted to get to the heart of it, what traits did a ‘bossy’ person really show? The more of thought about it, the more I started to see it as less of a negative term …..bossy to me means someone who is a leader, who is confident, assertive, strong and firm. As one of my work colleagues (I have many wise friends at work) pointed out, if a little boy showed the same qualities, would he would be labelled bossy too? I’m not so sure.

I look at Princess, and she is a lot of things I am not and that her Dad is. I am most definitely an introvert, who seems to always be thinking and analysing, worrying about what people think of me. I try my hardest to be liked, and I most definitely don’t stand up for myself (unless I am fully prepared well in advance – see overthinking, or very passionate). Princess on the other hand stands her ground, she is liked by her peers but tends to run her own race. If she wants to play something, she is happy for anyone to join her, but if they don’t, that’s cool too, she’ll play it by herself……this element in itself will surely see her through her teenage years where parents fear their child will become the follower, the one led astray by their peers, at least I hope. In some situations, she definitely ‘takes charge’ but as long as we teach her to respect other’s feelings and know that there is a need to also take on different roles within a group, surely this is not a bad thing either?

I have a daughter. She is a strong willed, fiercely independent and confident ……  skills that I would hope for her to maintain as an adult. She is not bossy, rather she shows skills that will put her in good steed for a bright future. So before you think about calling her, or another little girl bossy again, think about the specific trait they are showing and ask yourself whether in fact it is a bad thing or not?

What do you think about the ‘B’ word, or is there another word that bugs you?

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2 thoughts on “The ‘B’ word

  1. I love this post. I love it I love it I love it. I have a “bossy” little girl too. She knows what she wants! She knows how to express herself, how to assert herself, how to stand up for herself and how to take the lead. All this and she only just turned two. I wish I was half as good as she is at these things! I am teaching her compassion, and respect, and empathy, and kindness, because they are all important attributes. But so are confidence and assertiveness and the ability to take the lead and forge a path. When I call her “bossy,” I do it with pride and affection. But I think you are right – that’s not the general connotation of the word, and I need to rethink my use of it at all. Because I never want her to feel there is anything wrong with all that behaviour.

    • Thanks Naomi! It’s been plaguing my mind for a little while and it was nice to get the words out and onto the blog. Here’s too having bossy girls in our lives, I sure as hell wish I had some of what they had x

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