Don’t shout, don’t scream and don’t run around.

Don’t leave your coat and your bag on the ground.

     Take off those shoes if they’re muddy and wet.

     These bossy words I am sure you will get!


Have you flushed the toilet?  Don’t forget that.

You can’t have crisps.  They’ll make you fat.

     Money for chocolate?  No, not every day.

     Is this what the bossy grown-ups all say?


Put on that raincoat.  It’s raining outside.

Please comb your hair now.  Where is your pride?

     Did you wash your face well and the back of your ears?

     Now don’t look like that.  We don’t want your tears.


Don’t cross that road but wait by the lights –

Don’t provoke others and get into fights.

     Don’t mess around but work hard at school!

     Our parents are constantly teaching these rules.


My parents bossed me.  Things never change,

But now listen well, for isn’t this strange?

     You too can boss children when you’re Mum or Dad,

     Then do it again when you’re  a gran or granddad.


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NOW:  Why not write a verse or two listing some of the things your parents should or shouldn't do.  I'm always pleased to discover what children like to learn to perform for my visits and on a visit to a school in Colorado I discovered how much the children enjoyed this poem and what discussion it had provoked in their classroom.  Josie



By Josie Whitehead

On Being Bossy - Heading