chapter  12
8 Pages

Who’s the Boss? “I’m the Boss!”

All children need to learn how to share control with others. Th e inhibited-and-anxious child, just as he feels at the mercy of his feelings, may well experience a lack of control in his life in general, allowing others to boss him around. Others make decisions for him, and, due to poorly developed autonomy this may comfort the anxious child. However, this pattern leads the child eventually to feel even more inadequate and socially incompetent (Brooks & Siegel, 1996; Greenspan, 2003). In contrast, the more oppositional child seeks the role of boss/foreman and is unable to share control with others. Behavioral infl exibility pervades day-to-day interactions and everyday routines, and children with this attribute have diffi - culty trying something new and prefer things to be done exactly and predictably the same way each time. By assuming total control, they attempt to ensure their own sovereignty over predictability. Th ese children may appear to be oppositionally defi ant for its own sake, when in fact they are desperate for the maintenance of sameness in their environment for constitutional reasons (Barkley & Benton, 1998).