Here are a few of the most common manipulation tactics kids use to get their way. Check ones that apply to your child:
□ Lies. "I left it on the bus.""I did it already.""My friend borrowed it."
□ Plays one adult off the other. "Dad would let me." "But Mom said it was okay."
□ Makes excuses. "The teacher didn't tell me." "I thought it was Sally's job."
□ Shifts blame. "How am I supposed to get a good grade—my teacher is bad.""Go yell at the coach, not me. It's not my fault.""Don't blame me.You should have told me you were going to ground me."
□ Uses affection or charm. "I love you so much, Mom. I really will try harder.""Sorry Dad, I forgot. How about a hug?"
□ Pretends to be helpless. "I just can't do it, Dad. Pleeeeease can you help me?"
□ Uses guilt. "If you were around more to help, I'd be getting better grades." "You're the worst parent in the whole world." "All the other parents let their kids do it."
□ Fakes a physical ailment. "I have a stomachache ... headache." "I'm so tired ... sick."
□ Uses self-pity. "I can't do it!""It's too hard!""Every-one will laugh at me."
□ Employs blackmail. "If you let me stay out late tonight, I'll do it.""What'll I get?"
□ Gives the silent treatment. Is moody, mopes, pouts, doesn't smile, withdraws.
□ Exploits emotions. Uses tears, hysterical crying; trembles, clings, pleads.
□ Verbally threatens. "If you don't, I'll ... [tell Dad, run away, not love you anymore, never do my work] as long as I live."
□ Verbal tirades. Wears you down with arguments and verbal battles.
□ Uses aggressive behaviors. Has tantrums, bites, hits, rants, punches, or has other outbursts.
□ Knows your hot buttons. Waits until you're exhausted to ask. Knows when you're so busy you don't have time to talk things through.
Once you recognize the most common tactics your kid uses to get his way, you will be able to spot it each time and stop it in its tracks. Be sure to pass on your findings to those other important caregivers in your kid's life so you are all on board in curbing his manipulative ways.
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Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.