Little girl drama queens

Is there a little drama queen reigning in your household? Perhaps pseudo royalty has taken hold and you are perplexed about how to dethrone your tiny princess.

The phrase “drama queen” was originally coined to describe the self-centered and emotional behavior of adult women. It was not a flattering description and, particularly in the workplace, usually indicated an individual from whom you would want to keep your distance. The phrase has recently filtered down to describe the precocious behavior of younger girls who have come to the dramatic conclusion life is “all about them.”

The idea of a little girl being demanding and ruling the roost has taken on an aura of “cute”. Cute however, can quickly become tiresome.

Proceed with caution when labeling your children, even in jest. Children tend to live up to expectations.

Parents should think twice before telling amusing or frustrating stories of their “drama queen” daughter, especially in their presence. They are actually reinforcing the notion that it is acceptable to behave as if the world revolves around this one child. Even if your little girl does not attain “queen” status, and is merely “our little princess”, that label is equally inhibiting. When a little girl is labeled in early childhood as “tomboy”, “princess”, “girlie” or “drama queen”, there is no leeway for that girl to develop all the facets of her personality. She has already been boxed into one predetermined standard of behavior.

All little girls are dramatic sometimes, and quick to turn on the waterworks, but if your daughter is exhibiting excessive emotional outbursts over every occurrence in her life, you must examine the root of the behavior. If there is no medical cause for her emotions to accelerate, and you have not reinforced the behavior by bragging about having your own little “drama queen”, then it is time to take steps toward behavior modification.

When your daughter acts out, remain sympathetic to her feelings, but remove her from her “audience”. Accompany her to a quiet place, perhaps the privacy of her room, where the two of you can sort out her emotions and determine to what extent they are justified. After a thorough discussion of the issue, leave her alone to deal with her thoughts and feelings. It is difficult for anyone to maintain a high level of emotional turmoil without feedback. If you do this consistently, your daughter will soon get the message that reacting “over the top” will not give her the attention she is seeking.

Accepting and enabling imperious behavior under the guise “She is just a drama queen,” is unfair to your daughter and can cause her great unhappiness. No one wants to be around someone who is demanding and controlling. It is in her best interest for you to teach and guide her into an empathetic and considerate disposition.

Positive reinforcement is your best tool to accomplish this goal. Each time your daughter acts in an unselfish or unspoiled way, show your approval with verbal acknowledgment and lavish praise. Children want to please their parents, and when your child begins to receive attention for her calm and thoughtful behavior, she will continue along that path.

Soon your little girl will bask in the glow of positive recognition garnered with her pleasing and congenial personality.