Sometimes the term "Alpha" gets a bad reputation. In actuality, an alpha child doesn't translate to "bully." It simply means that a child has dominant traits or leans toward the leadership category. An alpha child can be more assertive and have the desire to be seen in a positive light or leading role. Amongst those desires, there are also a few early signs your child will be an Alpha that you can take note of as they grow and develop.
Although alpha personalities can sometimes contain traits that transition into negative characteristics, (such as defiance or difficulty coping with failure) those traits do not necessarily accompany an Alpha. Instead, according to Parent & Child, an alpha child is generally a born leader who's often chatty and generous but may occasionally think they know best or be a perfectionist. In order to foster Alphas and focus on inspiring leader traits, do things like encourage teamwork, broaden their comfort zone, and build up empathy to bring out the best without making them feel incompetent, as Parent & Child further explained.
If you think you may have (or know) an alpha child, consider these six early signs below and see how they may relate to your kid.
1. They're Good At Listening
In an interview with Essential Kids, clinical psychologist Sally McCormack shared that leaders often exhibit good listening skills and encourage others. Those Alpha traits, however, can sometimes slip into an unwillingness to see others' points of view. If this is the case, McCormak suggested showing kids more positive ways to lead if those traits begin to occur.
2. They Want To Take Care Of Others
Another prominent Alpha instinct is that of care-taking. According to Parent Map, "alpha children are like mother hens, inclined to take care of others." So, many times when you find your child doing things like comforting you or helping out their peers, it's a potential sign they're growing up as an Alpha.
3. They May Show (Or Cause) More Frustration
According to the aforementioned Parent Map article, alpha children are also more frustrated, and more frustrating. Sometimes, alpha children are less perceptive to receiving direction, which can lead to some very agitating moments for both kids and parents.
4. They're Social With Everyone
According to Parent, the alpha kids tend to have social confidence that, in turn, generally attracts other children. If you notice an outgoing personality or that your kid will talk to just about anyone, you may have an Alpha on your hands.
5. They Always Want To Win
In an interview with Kidspot, child and family psychologist Virginia Williams shared that parents feel they "need to provide opportunities for kids to succeed, but what we don’t get told so much is to help them cope with failure." In turn, Williams shared more Alpha instincts are developing in western culture. In addition to Williams findings, the previously mentioned Parent Map article also shared that alpha children may exhibit the desire to win all the time, be the best at everything, and be in the know.
6. They Seek Attention
The aforementioned Kids Spot article also shared that the more modern emphasis on the individual has helped create more and more alpha personalities. And accompanying that individualism often is the need for attention. Many alpha kids show a desire to be the center of attention or find ways to gain the attention of those around them.