Wednesday, May 27, 2015

When Kids Call the Shots

by Sean Grover
American Management Association  2015
214 pages    Nonfiction
The Shortlist

I received my copy of When Kids Call The Shots from the publicist and opened the package in front of my "burned out" daughter. The four-year-old was being bossy, and the 2-year-old was running amok. My daughter took one look at the title and said, "Boy, that book couldn't have come at a better time!"

Sean Grover is a psychotherapist and an expert in group therapy work with parents and children. When Kids Call the Shots looks at the symptoms that cause children to bully their parents, and offers concrete solutions to the problems. More than giving advice on how to stop children from being in control, he has parents look at the reasons why the bullying is occurring. Bullying of parents can be caused by defiance, manipulation, and anxiety on the part of children, and the reasons why parents allow this to happen can be because of guilt, anxiety and a need to fix everything. In other words, parents' vulnerabilities may be what are causing the problems. 

Scattered throughout the book are examples and anecdotes that almost every parent can relate to. The most valuable chapter discusses the parents' tool box to start remedying the situation. He suggests that parents must stick to their vision, take responsibility for their own behavior, and manage their own feelings. Also, he recommends getting therapy for yourself and/or your child if it is needed.

Grover's narrative and the accompanying examples are very empowering and motivating. Ultimately, his approach is one of compassion. Although he asks the parents to look inward to search for the causes of the difficulties, he is never critical or accusatory about parenting styles. His job in this book is to offer hope to stressed-out parents. The end result will be more relaxed parenting and less stressed-out children.

Interestingly, the book is published by the American Management Association. So, parenting is, in part, a management issue. By the way, tomorrow the book goes to my daughter. The kids are still little; behavior is just being molded. Reading When Kids Call the Shots can make a huge difference for parents.

 The review in Publisher's Weekly.
Sean Grover has an excellent parenting website. You can find it here.

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