Does Your Teen Bully You?
Is your teenager mean to you? What can parents do with teens who bully them and treat them cruelly? And why do teenagers even treat their parents like this in the first place?
This week on the podcast, I talked with Sean Grover, the author of the award-winning book When Kids Call the Shots: How to Seize Control from Your Darling Bully and Enjoy Being a Parent Again. Sean is an expert in child bullying behaviors. He teaches workshops to parents around the country and works privately with families and teens to end this kind of unruly behavior.
Sean explained that, to teens, bullying is not about being mean. It’s about getting what they want.
He told me about a teen he worked with who was torturing his mom because she missed his piano recital. When Sean suggested the boy let his mom off the hook, he replied, “If I keep this up, I think I can get a new laptop.”
Yes, your teenager is bullying you in order to manipulate you and get what they want. Your teen has realized that he or she can get things out of you by making you feel bad about yourself.
Sean has mapped out the most common types of bullying that occur in families and he’s developed specific strategies for exactly how to get your teenager back under control. All of that (and much more) is covered in this episode.
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2 Word-for-Word Scripts
from this Episode:
1. When your teen is being defiant, channel it in a positive direction:
“Can you invent a better way of doing this? You seem to be really good at this kind of thing.”
1 Script HIDDEN…
A psychotherapist, author, and public speaker, Sean has more than 20 years experience working with adults and children. A skilled and inspiring speaker, he leads hundreds of therapy groups in his practice, in addition to monthly workshops in clinics, medical centers, youth organizations, and schools.
Sean started his clinical career as a school social worker in some of the most notorious and gang-ridden areas of New York City. For his innovative youth programs, Sean was honored with two awards from the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund.
Grover has served as an adolescent expert witness for the New York State Supreme Court and as a board member of Creative Alternatives of New York at Mt. Sinai Hospital, a program that brings drama therapies to a wide range of inpatient and outpatient populations. He has also served as a Program Coordinator for Brooklyn Psychiatric Centers and a Clinical Supervisor at the Harlem Education Arts Fund, and has been a member of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s task force on youth violence.
His new parenting book, When Kids Call the Shots: How to Seize Control from Your Darling Bully and Enjoy Being a Parent Again, received a starred review for best new non-fiction from Publishers Weekly. Grover has also been a guest on THE TODAY SHOW.