Bully: someone who habitually badgers and intimidates someone who is generally smaller or weaker. A bully is quarrelsome, overbearing, pushy, domineering. A bully browbeats, coerces, terrorizes, and tyrannizes.
When I think of a bully, I picture children – one child mistreating another child. I’ve never considered that a child’s behavior towards his parents could be bullying — that is not until now.
After reading When kids call the shots by Sean Grover, my understanding of bullying has changed. My eyes have been opened. I now see how some of the ways that children treat their parents can be considered bullying.
Kids abuse their parents by manipulating them, yelling at them, and cursing them. They are abusive when they are mean and demanding – and when they have a whole slew of other awful and vicious characteristics.
Do you have a grandchild that treats you this way – or treats his parents this way?
Do you or the bully’s parents feel like you are at the end of your rope? Do you wish that your relationship would be better? Do you want the bullying to stop but don’t know what to do?
Then this book is for you!
(You can get a copy on Amazon for $12).
It is a fabulous, stupendous, and all around terrific how-to book that helps parents control situations when a child is bullying them. It helps parents improve their relationship with their child and regain the enjoyment that they had being a parent before the bullying began.
Sean Grover is a psychotherapist with 20 years’ experience working with adults and children – and (and this is a critical AND) he has had personal experience with dealing with a child who is a bully. He has lived through it so he knows whereof he speaks.
Are you concerned that the book might be deep with a lot of theory and psychobabble or that it might be hard to understand?
Not to worry! It’s written as if you are sitting at the kitchen table and having a chat with Grover. The book is easy to read and easy to understand.
It’s not all theory either. Grover gives just enough theory to help the reader understand child development, bullying, and correct parent/child relationships. He also gives very specific things that parents can do to stop the bullying and to improve their relationship with their child.
One of the big take-aways for me is that parents have to FIRST look at themselves, what they like about their parenting skills and what they don’t like about them. They have to first fix themselves and make changes in their thoughts and behavior before they can work on stopping their child from bullying them.
Grover teaches that solutions to end bullying do not come from trying to control a child. Instead, they come from self-mastery and mindfulness of the parent. When the parent stops or changes her behavior, the child’s behavior changes.
The quickest and most effective way to produce change in a child is for the parent to take a good look in the mirror, do a self-evaluation, and then make personal changes. Change begins with the parent.
The parent is the one who sets the tone for the relationship. The parent needs to decide in advance how to act (and not react) when her child lashes out.
Grover recommends that the parent start a journal. This is for introspection, self-reflection, and self-analysis. It is a place for writing thoughts, feelings, memories, for setting goals, and for recording breakthroughs. It will help a parent be more mindful of her behavior.
Grover suggests that the parent create a vision of the new relationship with the child – and record that vision in the journal. Keeping this vision in mind at all times helps the parent to weather challenging moments.
He also encourages the parent to come up with a mantra or a saying that they can silently say to themselves during difficult times. One parent came up with “If I lose my temper, I lose my son.” (Oh how I wish I had that mantra when I was raising our kids!!!)
This marvelous saying can really help remind a parent of the bigger picture — that the relationship is extremely important and that a parent should look beyond the difficult situation at the moment.
He also tells parents to take responsibility for their own behavior, to manage their feelings, and to stop internally criticizing themselves.
Exceptionally good tidbits from the book
• Every time you surrender to your kid’s bullying, you send her this simple message: bullying works.
• Give kids what they need not what they want.
• Learning to communicate effectively while frustrated is more important than anything that your child is craving at the moment.
• Set structures, limits, and boundaries. Kids need them.
• Parents bullied by their kids were most likely bullied by their own parents.
• Children have temper tantrums. Parents do not.
Well. I could go on and on about the book. But I won’t. I will simple recommend that you read this excellent book. In fact I highly recommend this book. It is one of the best parenting self-help books that I’ve read.
Best of all, this book will give you hope. After reading it, you will feel like you can change. Your relationship with your child can change. You’ll understand that it won’t necessarily be easy (changing oneself is like that) but it definitely will be worth it.
Now for the fun part!!
I will give a copy of this book to one of my lucky readers. To enter my giveaway, simply post a comment. You can share a piece of parenting advice, share an experience you’ve had that has strengthened your relationship with a child, or simply say hi.
(Does one of your children need this book? To increase your chance of winning the giveaway, have your child and your child’s spouse post a comment, too. That will triple your chances of winning the giveaway! 🙂 )
The giveaway will end at midnight on Friday June 12. I will announce the winner on Saturday June 13.