Ep 33: Does Your Teen Bully You?
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Sean Grover, author of “When Kids Call the Shots”, discusses the hidden psychology that leads teenagers to bully their parents and reals simple strategies you can use to regain control from your teenager if you find yourself getting bullied. Sean has identified three main reasons parents get bullied.
Full Show Notes
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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Word-for-word examples of WHAT to say to your teen
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.”
2. Affirm your teen for doing something new:
Step-by-step guides for applying the ideas from this interview
1. Recognize How the Misbehavior is Serving Your Teen:
What are the main behaviors you want your teen to stop doing? There’s a reason these behaviors are so tough to stop: your teen is getting something they want out of them. Sean told me that even when teens are mean or “bully” their parents it’s because they see a way to get something they want by making you feel bad. One of his patients told Sean he was torturing his mom because he thought he could get a new laptop if he played his cards right. What does your teen expect the result of his behavior is going to be? How does that result benefit your teen?
2. Uncover Your Own Role In Your Teen’s Behavior:
3. Compliment Your Teen for Being Different:
4. Remember How You Were in High School:
About Sean Grover
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.