Whats Wrong With Your Current Response

Think about the last few times your kid employed his manipulative schemes on you.What tactic did he use? What was the issue about? And most important, how did you respond? Did you threaten or scold? Argue? Plead, coax, or bribe him to act right? Ignore him and hope the attitude would go away? Tell another adult to deal with it?

Did you address his manipulative attitude at all and make him accountable? If so, how did that happen? Did you make him apologize? Did you encourage him to admit he was quite capable of doing whatever it was himself? Make him do what he was trying to avoid? Ground him or remove a privilege? Was it effective in squelching his attitude or not? Why? Or did you give in to his manipulative tactic and let him win? If so: Did you write an excuse? Do his responsibility? Blame the person? Let him off the hook? Sympathize? Why did you give in? What did your kid learn from your giving in?

Manipulative kids are great at recognizing what works so the manipulated parent gives up and once again they get their way. So what has your kid learned about you? How is he able to push your buttons so you finally acquiesce? Does he play on your impatience? Your desire to pump up his confidence? Has he learned your weakness for his self-pity, his charm, or his posture of helplessness? Might it be that he can recognize when you're on overload: if he keeps it up a little longer, he figures he'll just wear you out? You just don't have the energy to deal with it? Or do you believe him (or want to believe him)? Could it be that you want to save face before he pulls his antics in front of others? You're afraid you'll harm his self-esteem? You don't think it's worth jeopardizing your relationship with your kid?

What is the one response you know does not work? Write it so you will remember to never use it again.

I will not_

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