About Being Bossy

I was in the middle of writing this Blog about being bossy when the doors shut tight for our 5th lockdown in Melbourne and the continuation of the lockdown in Sydney so I needed to take a moment to acknowledge all of us shut into our homes again and want to say that we are thinking of you all and hope this is not going to last too long.

I’m starting to feel like I am on one of those mouse wheels going around and around and not getting anywhere. Hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel will be shining brightly and we will be there very soon. Anyway, enough said on lockdowns. Let’s talk about being bossy!

Like Miranda Panda, in ‘When I Grow Up’, as a child, my older sisters often told me I was ‘very bossy’. This was not meant kindly and I have always thought of being bossy as a BIG negative. So, when I saw this post by Sheryl Sandberg, (Facebook COO) in The Female Lead on LinkedIn I was very happy with her take on bossiness.

In ‘When I Grow Up’ Miranda Panda is being ‘very bossy’ and on the last page her friends tell her she ‘can be anything she wants to be, except for being bossy.’

I want to point out that this line was purposefully there to challenge the notion that being bossy is not okay, that it will open up a lot of discussion about the positives and negatives for the children. For those of you who use the open-ended questions found on our website or in the teacher resource, you will see that we ask children to explain if there is anything wrong with being bossy.

I don’t think anyone likes to be bossed around and, in my experience bossy people are not very well liked, so it is important to think about how we can discourage our children being bossy and encourage leadership skills in the place of bossiness. What is the difference to bossiness and leadership skills? How do we approach this? As I often say, I am not an expert and I am truly asking those of you who read this blog to reach out and start a discussion about this issue.

But meanwhile, I have thought about my bossiness and at my age think it is okay to be somewhat bossy. It is a fine line which we tread!


Can you play act ‘When I Grow Up’ or another story about being bossy with your children. Ask one of them to be very bossy. How do the other children feel? How does the bossy child feel? How can you turn bossiness into leadership skills? Discuss this with your children and perhaps change the play to make the bossy character a leader instead.

I would love to hear from you and your thoughts.

Until next time,


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