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This future Bridezilla insists on calling all the shots. Her friend will play The Little Mermaid with her and like it -- even if she'd rather do something else.
What's the deal? "A stubborn, bossy child may simply be afraid of doing things someone else's way," says Carolyn Pirak, a clinical social worker in Seattle. Once she comes up with a game plan, it must be followed exactly or she'll consider the date ruined. Plus, if your child is under 5, her empathy skills are still developing, so she's probably not thinking about how her behavior is making her bulldozed buddy feel.
Friendship tips: Be honest. Do you spend hours on end playing an obedient Boots to your child's demanding Dora? Often, social dictators are used to having grown-ups do whatever they say. Start setting limits at home, says Rose Kavo, PhD, a child therapist in New York City. Instead of going along with a game until your child grows tired of it, say, "We'll play with the dollhouse for 10 minutes, but after that it's time to switch to blocks."
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