Ages & Stages

When Kids Call The Shots {Parenting a Bully}

July 9

I am the Fix-Everything Parent. I’ve done it the entire 18 years of my son’s life. I have backed off some the past year, as I’ve seen what it’s been doing to hinder my son’s character and cause irresponsibility and immaturity.

I recently read a book that I recommend parents to read. While I don’t agree with every aspect of the book, I do find a majority of it helpful and insightful. I see myself and my children in some of the types described in this book.

In the book you will walk through:

The Four Developmental Stages

Currently I have children in two of the stages (early childhood and teen/young adult). I’ve seen where and why I should’ve done things differently with my older two (the teens) and see where I might get a better outcome with the youngest (the toddler) know that I know how the bullying game works within a mother-child relationship.

Understanding Your Kids’ Bullying Behavior Style

There are three behavior styles. Two of them fit my older two. My youngest child isn’t yet demonstrating one of the behaviors.

How Good Parents Fall Into Bad Habits

Of the three types of parents, I am the Fix-Everything Parent. I never enjoy watching my children struggle or hurt. I’ve always ran to their rescue, even when my husband said I shouldn’t. Mistake. Now I have a child that is not prepared for life out on his own. He will be eventually, but he should already be.

The author hit the nail on the head when he said that we shouldn’t be spending more time “servicing our children” than we spend “servicing our marriages.”

Three Tools to Give You Both The Right Amount of Power

These are practices I should’ve already had in place. I know better, but I got busy with life. I didn’t make parenting for my children’s future a priority. I loved them and clothes them; I didn’t prepare them, nor did I take responsibility for my own behavior. I could’ve done better at managing my feelings, too. I’m not having a pity party here. I’m just saying that I know better and I am working toward better parenting with the few years I have left with the older two and the many years I have left with the youngest.

The Parent Power Notebook

I love this idea. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I’ve never considered journaling to help “break free of old patterns and open new pathways in parenting” as the author recommends. It’s recommended that you, the parent, “make time for self-reflection and deeper consideration of your choices as a parent”. Parents are so busy that we often don’t sit down to reflect on anything. However, I think this would be a valuable time investment.

There is a lot in this book. You’ll find suggestions about setting limits, learning differences, household responsibilities, emotions, faulty coping mechanisms, begging and more. Read the book, pray about what you read, use what you’re lead to use. That’s my plan.

Disclosure: I am not Buddhist; the author is. I am Christian. I was disheartened by the author’s statement that the proverb “spare the rod, spoil the child” was one of three “lousy proverbs to screw up our view of childrearing.” This proverb comes from the Bible, to quote word for word: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Proverbs 13:24. As a Christian mother, with experience, I find it sometimes necessary to spank a child. Not abuse them with angered hits, but giving them a painful correction, so that they will not repeat the offense. Life is painful, so teaching them now the consequences of doing wrong will help them later.

I received this book from FSB Associates in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book: When Kids Call the Shots

Are the children ruling the roost? When parents reclaim their power, everyone benefits.

Rebellious, entitled, disrespectful, many kids pummel their parents with demands, and boss them around with impunity. Experts might label them ‘difficult’ and advise how to ‘fix’ them. But parenting struggles rarely originate from just one side. Instead, they erupt at the volatile intersection of a child’s personality with a parent’s own insecurities and behaviors. Fixing the child requires fixing yourself.

In When Kids Call the Shots, therapist and parenting expert Sean Grover untangles the forces driving family dysfunction, and helps parents assume leadership roles. With a liberating message and perceptive advice, the book explores:

  • Three common bullying styles (defiant, manipulative, anxious) used by kids
  • Parenting styles (guilt-prone, anxiety-fueled, fix-everything) that contribute to power imbalances
  • Critical testing periods in a child’s development
  • Coping mechanisms that backfire
  • Personalized plans for calmly exerting authority in any scenario
  • And more

Caving in to tantrums and threats breeds more of the same. Learn to stop the cycle of abusive behavior and make parenting a pleasure again.

About the Author
Sean Grover, LCSW, author of When Kids Call the Shots, 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.

For more information please visit and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Reply
    » When Kids Call The Shots {Parenting a Bully}
    July 9 at 7:53 am

    […] When Kids Call The Shots {Parenting a Bully} […]

  • Reply
    July 21 at 5:05 pm

    I found your post very interesting, I teach preschool and I see this dynamic as early as 3 years old. I will look into this book it may be a great recommendation to some of my parents. We follow each other on instagram and I had time for a visit. I hope you will follow me at my blog its new and I would love a few new followers. Have a great week! xoxo Mickey

  • Reply
    August 24 at 12:51 pm

    interesting post. educating children as they’re 3 years old is very important. all kids of this age can watch what their parents do and then do it again , good parents make good children.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.