When Kids Call the Shots

How to Seize Control from Your Darling Bully -- and Enjoy Being a Parent Again

 When Kids Call the Shots

Author: Sean Grover
Pub Date: June 2015
Print Edition: $15.00
Print ISBN: 9780814436004
Page Count: 224
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814436011

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Excerpt

Something’s gone wrong in your relationship with your kid. You can’t put your finger on it. You’re not sure when it happened, you’re not sure how it happened, but you know that you want to make your relationship right again—as soon as possible. There’s only one problem: You haven’t got a clue what to do.

You coach yourself. “Stay optimistic. It’s just a phase. It will pass. Be positive.” You cross your fingers and hope for the best.

But such thoughts offer little comfort. When your relationship with your kid is out of whack, “hope” doesn’t cut it. In fact, nothing in your life feels right. You spend many sleepless nights feeling brokenhearted and lost. I know—I’ve been there.

Parenting is a messy business, filled with unexpected turns and twists. You need new skills to overcome these problems—and fast. Even the most devoted parents can feel flummoxed by their kids.

“I thought I was doing everything right. Why is this happening?”

Rebooting Your Relationship

Seeking professional advice is always a good idea, but before you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on therapy, behavior modification programs, or medication or submit your child to personality assessments and neurological testing, let’s consider some steps that you can take right now.

Children are complicated, but their needs are not. As we’ll learn in Chapter 2, every child has five basic needs. Meet those five needs, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your kid’s behavior and mood improve. However, if those essential needs aren’t met, turning around your relationship with your kid could be infinitely more difficult.

Rather than muck up parenting with too much analysis or obsessiveness, let’s keep it simple and stick to basics. Often, the solutions to problems in your relationship are hiding in plain sight. In fact, remedying your situation with your kid could be easier than you think.

For example, for quite a while I had a leak under my kitchen sink. No matter what I did, the leak reappeared. Plumbers told me that the pipes were installed wrong, the drain was off center, the sink had to be moved. Each estimate was for hundreds of dollars that I didn’t want to spend. After all, it was just a tiny drip!

So I went to my local hardware store and spoke to one of the old-timers. Without missing a beat, he said, “Try changing the washers.” He sold me three thirty-five-cent washers. And the pipes never leaked again.

So before you freak out and hire an army of mental health professionals to fix your kid, before you research social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, or psychotherapists (I’ll explain exactly what these folks do in Chapter 7), before you blame yourself or your partner or spend sleepless nights feeling guilty, take a moment and consider this: You don’t need to start all over; you might just need to change the washers.

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