When Kids Call the Shots: How to Seize Control from Your Darling Bully -- and Enjoy Being a Parent Again

When Kids Call the Shots: How to Seize Control from Your Darling Bully -- and Enjoy Being a Parent Again

by Sean Grover


$13.50 $15.00 Save 10% Current price is $13.5, Original price is $15. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, March 28

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814436004
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 06/03/2015
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 816,748
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

SEAN GROVER, LCSW, has worked in child development and adult psychotherapy for 20 years, and maintains one of the largest private group therapy practices in the U.S. He has been quoted in Newsweek, New York Magazine, NPR, and elsewhere about parent-child relationships.

Read an Excerpt

Something’s gone wrong in your relationship with your kid. You can’t put your finger on it. You’re not sure when it happened, you’re not sure how it happened, but you know that you want to make your relationship right again—as soon as possible. There’s only one problem: You haven’t got a clue what to do.

You coach yourself. “Stay optimistic. It’s just a phase. It will pass. Be positive.” You cross your fingers and hope for the best.

But such thoughts offer little comfort. When your relationship with your kid is out of whack, “hope” doesn’t cut it. In fact, nothing in your life feels right. You spend many sleepless nights feeling brokenhearted and lost. I know—I’ve been there.

Parenting is a messy business, filled with unexpected turns and twists. You need new skills to overcome these problems—and fast. Even the most devoted parents can feel flummoxed by their kids.

“I thought I was doing everything right. Why is this happening?”

Rebooting Your Relationship

Seeking professional advice is always a good idea, but before you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on therapy, behavior modification programs, or medication or submit your child to personality assessments and neurological testing, let’s consider some steps that you can take right now.

Children are complicated, but their needs are not. As we’ll learn in Chapter 2, every child has five basic needs. Meet those five needs, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your kid’s behavior and mood improve. However, if those essential needs aren’t met, turning around your relationship with your kid could be infinitely more difficult.

Rather than muck up parenting with too much analysis or obsessiveness, let’s keep it simple and stick to basics. Often, the solutions to problems in your relationship are hiding in plain sight. In fact, remedying your situation with your kid could be easier than you think.

For example, for quite a while I had a leak under my kitchen sink. No matter what I did, the leak reappeared. Plumbers told me that the pipes were installed wrong, the drain was off center, the sink had to be moved. Each estimate was for hundreds of dollars that I didn’t want to spend. After all, it was just a tiny drip!

So I went to my local hardware store and spoke to one of the old-timers. Without missing a beat, he said, “Try changing the washers.” He sold me three thirty-five-cent washers. And the pipes never leaked again.

So before you freak out and hire an army of mental health professionals to fix your kid, before you research social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, or psychotherapists (I’ll explain exactly what these folks do in Chapter 7), before you blame yourself or your partner or spend sleepless nights feeling guilty, take a moment and consider this: You don’t need to start all over; you might just need to change the washers.

Table of Contents




1 Escape the Suffering Parents Club

2 What Happened to My Sweet, Adorable Child?

3 How We Become Our Kids’ Victims—and Strategies to Prevent Parent Burnout

4 Understanding Your Kid’s Bullying Behavior Style

5 Your Parenting Style—and How Good Parents Fall into Bad Habits

6 Tools to Give You Both Just the Right Amount of Power

7 How to Assemble Your Anti-Bullying Support Team

8 Navigating the Seven Parenting Crises That Can Trigger Bullying


About the Author

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

When Kids Call the Shots: How to Seize Control from Your Darling Bully -- and Enjoy Being a Parent Again 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
DrLennyR More than 1 year ago
Sean's unique wit and wisdom about parenting is refreshing in approach and unmatched in clarity. In the often hard-to-navigate genre of family-help, this book stands out. My family has personally benefitted from applying Sean's insights. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to my patients.
AMartinez More than 1 year ago
When Kids Call the Shots is the perfect guide to navigate the trials and tribulations of parenting. Full of insights, clever anecdotes and real-life examples, When Kids Call the Shots help parents of all backgrounds to open lines of communication with their children and deepen their relationship by catering to their family’s individual circumstances. It’s definitely a “MUST READ”!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish I read it when my son was 12 years old. Me and my wife had to learn  to solve our parenting problems by trial and error. Now, when he is 16 we still find this book inspiring and motivating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grover is a GREAT mentor, friend and colleague and this book is a reflection of his passion to helping young people and their families develop. His sensitivity to the families he works with is represented in this book, and in his work. As a new mom-to toddler boys, this book will help me (and countless others) start on the right track with my children in ways that values children as they are and as they are becoming; while also not losing what is important as parents(s). Parenting is not easy, but this book will help in the journey. This book allows for anyone to read it! The writing is not a bunch of mumbo-jumbo psychoanalytic "stuff" and is very practical. Grover's humor is also very much alive and felt in this book, as parenting can often be comical-once the anxiety, worry and judgment is removed. No parent wants to be bullied by their children, because it's a reflection of what you did "wrong". And this feeling can cause so much hurt, resentment and anxiety that is then transferred and/or model to children. This book serves as a reminder that although there are no "right" answers to parenting, there is however practical tools, techniques that can be applied and utilized by parents so that children can be emotionally healthy adults. The first step is recognizing the bully you've created in your own child based on your own "Stuff". This is not only a GREAT read, but useful to parents, teachers, and the mental health/psychoanalytical world and anyone who encounters children and their families in their work. One of my take away from this book is that Grover teaches that “Frustration is the fossil fuel for maturity”…every parents needs to know this because we often believe that we must fix, cure or stop our children’s frustrations and in return take it “on” for them. I am gifting this book to all my friends who are parents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great parenting book! I bought one for all my kids. I wish I had this when my children were still in school. Easy to read and apply. A pleasure! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This wonderful and thoughtful offering to all of us shows the reason why Sean Grover is my GoToo Guy for all of my patients seeking the highest level of skill and passion.  Sean is always my first choice when I am asked to recommend the best adolescent therapist.  This book will let you see why.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grover tells us - patiently, compassionately, and sensitively - that it is possible to bring mindfulness to parenting, even when your mind is what your child has taken dead aim at. Not that it's easy: a conscious journey into one's own childhood disappointments is necessary before we can accept why and how we're triggered by our children.The rewards are great, however: repair of our own old wounds and relationships with our kids that are more emotionally satisfying for us and for them. Ultimately, Grover guides us to payoff moments when our pure response to our children is pride. Chris Dolin, LCSW and parent, NYC
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sean Grover, a psychotherapist in New York City, has written an invaluable book about how and why children take advantage of their parents. When Kids Call the Shots is well-written in simple, straight-forward and accessible prose. The book explores, among other things, that children’s difficulties start with the parents and examines the importance of parents delving into their present and past lives in order to connect with their kids. The book provides salient examples of both inappropriate and positive responses to a child’s outburst. Mr. Grover does not shy away from conveying personal experiences dealing with his own children. And he provides experiences lifted directly from his successful practice. Most importantly perhaps, Mr. Grover address not only confronting and de-escalating a child’s isolated outburst, but also creating solutions that lead to long-term harmony between parents and children. This is a vital read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not  much for "parenting books" but this is a MUST HAVE!!!! I have had the pleasure of seeing Sean lecture in person. This book is just like his lectures -- straightforward, honest, insightful and filled with GOOD THOUGHTS! My family dynamic is already starting to shift... thank you thank you thank you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WHEN KIDS CALL THE SHOTS is the book that parents have been waiting for! A breath of fresh air in a world of endless “how to” parenting books. It is chocked full of practical guidance and keen insights about child development. It also takes the risk of asking parents to look at themselves to understand how they may be contributing to the problems in their relationship with their child. Sean Grover understands that in our attempt to be the best parents we can be and provide for our children’s every need, we may be surrendering our power and authority as parents. And that once this shift in the power dynamic occurs we, as parents, head down a slippery slope where our wish for an idyllic family life becomes our worst nightmare. WHEN KIDS CALL THE SHOTS is a very timely and much needed book! Jerry Finkelstein, PhD, Director, The New School Counseling Center
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“WHEN KIDS CALL THE SHOTS is a comprehensive, down-to-earth guide. It is a great source of encouragement, practical support, and creative ideas that will give parents and caregivers who are at their wits' end a sense of hope, a deeper understanding and a toolbox of skills. Sean Grover is a great communicator who delivers what he promises in a readable and engaging style. Get this book and learn "how to seize control and enjoy being a parent again." You won't regret it. - Andrew Malekoff, executive director of North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center in Roslyn Heights, NY and author of internationally acclaimed Group Work with Adolescents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Masterful lessons in the delicate art of parenting." Marianne Pearl, author of A MIGHTY HEART (Scribner, 2004 / Paramount Pictures, 2007) and IN SEARCH OF HOPE (powerHouse, 2007)