When I saw a 5-year-old pull his mom by the hand with authority in the mall hallway to take her into the stores he wanted to go, this lead me to try yo find out more and what is going on!
Parents of a three year old were confused and frustrated: “Every time we ask him to do something he looks at us in this defiant way that seems to say, “who do you think you are telling me what to do . . . Don’t you know I’m the boss of the family and you are here to serve me!’”
OUCH! These children try to assume a dominant role in their family. Such children are strong willed and defiant. They are called an ALPHA CHILD! (Dr. Gordon Neufeld, a Canadian developmental psychologist and best selling author,)
How to recognize an alpha child:
- Can be bossy and controlling
- Likes to take charge and get their way
- As ‘top dog’ they tend to give directions, not to take them
- Have a tendency to get annoyed or irritated, when asked to do something (or ignore you)
- Insist on fairness, their rights and getting what they think they deserve
- Will sometimes become a ‘caretaker’ of their parent or sibling
- Have a tendency to hide or suppress their own needs – they appear strong and resilient, so often are tearless.
- Can get aggressive, when they don’t get their own way
- Strong alphas can appear fearless and resist close physical contact
They become very difficult and exhausting to the parent and they lead to a battle of wills.
A profound insight sees the way the alpha child outwardly behaves (dominating, leading, being in charge) and is the very opposite to how they feel on the inside. Alpha children are alarmed children; behind the bravo image is a scared child. It’s highly alarming when you are 3 or 4 year old and you think you can take care of yourself.
The alpha child has to learn to be taken care of. As Dr. Cooper of the Circle of Security suggests, parent should always be bigger, stronger, wiser and kind. When you are all of these qualities for your child, they can rest knowing they will be protected, comforted and a source of delight. When children find rest, they’re a lot easier to parent.
After a short research on the Alpha Child, it makes me want to look more into it! This opened up my eyes and I hope it opened up yours! Think about the Alpha children you have in the classroom!