Parenting Dominant "Alpha" ChildrenMay 19, 2021
“The level of cooperation parents get from their children is usually equal to the level of connection. Children feel with their parents.”
This week on the 3D Parent Podcast, we’ll share with you valuable insights on how to effectively parent a dominant “Alpha” child.
Some of the topics covered in this episode include:
- What is an alpha child and how to determine if your child is an alpha.
- How do a child progress on becoming an alpha and how you can avoid it.
- Seventeen powerful tips that parents can efficiently do to ultimately change the dynamic in a parent-child relationship.
If you are tired of feeling powerless and constantly frustrated from having to walk on eggshells around your potentially explosive child, know that it doesn’t have to be this way. In this episode, I’m going to share some pointers to shed light on what being an alpha is all about and offer solutions just for you. I encourage parents to dig deep into this episode so you can finally take back your natural alpha role as a parent and ultimately, help your child reach their full potential.
Things You Will Learn
[01:04] Today’s topic is one of my favorite topics when it comes to parenting: Parenting Dominant alpha children. The term alpha child/alpha children were coined by Dr. Gordon Neufeld and it refers to the children who are often described as bossy and domineering. These children are driven to dominate parents, peers, and caretakers. Alpha children often reject physical affections unless they initiate it and they always insist on having the last word. They also may be driven to exploit the weakness of others and prone to exhibit bullying behaviors.
[06:37] There are basically two types of alpha: alpha by default and alpha by defense. Alpha by default are naturally-born leaders. They are confident, focused, and often perfectionists. Because of these amazing qualities, society loves alphas, and therefore, they often become the leaders in our society. CEOs, principals, founders, coaches, and so on. The bad news is that it can get taxing and exhausting because of the high expectations bestowed upon them.
[08:51] The second type of alpha is what we call alpha by defense. These are children who become alphas as a form of defense. A child can become alpha by defense for various reasons, either they lose their confidence towards the caretaking role of their caregivers or they are forced to lead because of certain parenting practices.
[14:33] While I do personally believe that positive discipline is a move in the right direction, it can be problematic for alpha children by defense. As much as we want to value children’s perspectives and emotions, the reality is that it can blur the line between power dynamics and lead to children dominating for their own welfare.
[29:22] The number one strategy I have for parents to gain the lead in the parent-child relationship is to further nurture their connection with their children. We have to remember that as a parent, it is our job to keep our kids connected to us, not the other way around. So bring an end towards the parenting practices that weaponize relationships against children. And to further enrich relationships, always welcome your children into your presence, no matter what version of them is present in the moment.
[40:03] In line with creating relationships, help your child foster a relationship that challenges your alpha child, probably older cousins or playmates who can take a dominant role. Parents could also try to take on more leadership roles within the relationship dynamics. This could be activities that your children are not yet familiar with and therefore, they will have no choice but to learn from you.
[45:35] It may seem controversial but another advice I have is to encourage dependence in your children whenever possible. As I mentioned in the first part of the podcast, alphas are sometimes formed due to their lack of confidence in their caretaker. So encouraging dependency to their caretakers can restore the balance in the relationship once again.
[51:12] When your child is in a weakened state, take full advantage, and go into overdrive in your nurturing role. Remember that being an alpha is not just about setting the limitations and being a firm disciplinary, it’s also about being a provider and nurturer in the relationship. This will help your child feel loved, connected, and deeply attached to you.
Quotes From Episode 42
“Being in the alpha mode is not just about giving them no’s, setting the limits, and being very firm in your discipline. That is certainly a part of it. But the other part of it is you're also providing nurturing and caretaking that helps your child feel loved, connected, and deeply attached to you.”
“Alphas are really, really powerful people that the world needs. On the bad news, they are exhausted. It is exhausting to be an alpha because so much is expected of these fearless leaders.”
“Is it important to value children's opinions and emotions? Of course. But when they start to believe that they have power and they get to drive all the decisions, especially when it comes to their caretaking, you're gonna get into trouble with children and it's going to get out of control real quick.”
“Independence is important. But when it's independence that is not developmentally normal or appropriate, this is an area where you need to explore further. Is this child truly independent or are they truly alpha? And sometimes that can be a little confusing.”
“When you have an alpha child, you really need to take a look at your discipline practices and recognize that some things that you're doing might actually make your child become even more alpha, even more dominant.”
“Your child does not need to know that you're listening to a parenting podcast to support you in your parenting journey. Your child needs to believe that you've got this. Your child needs to believe that they’re not too much to handle and you know what to do.”
“It's important to know that when children can be shielded from stress and sufferings, they should be. And when some of these things are ongoing or impossible to shield your child from, you communicate.”
Let's work together! I provide 1:1 support for parents motivated to make positive changing in their parenting and gain confidence and increase fulfillment in their role as parents. If this sounds like it might be what you've been looking for, book a free consultation today.
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