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Parenting Articles about Manipulation

Do you feel you are being controlled by your child? Why kids manipulate adults, and ways to deal with child manipulation in your home.
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Negotiating with Kids: When You Should and Shouldn’t

Negotiating with Kids: When You Should and Shouldnt

Does it seem like every time you tell your child “No,” it turns into a tug-of-war? One mom shared with us recently, “Absolutely everything’s an argument with my son. Even the simplest request. He just can’t take no for an answer. It’s so frustrating!” Many parents find themselves in a negotiation with their children when they are met with any kind of resistance. Negotiating is an important life skill. By definition, it means coming to an agreement through discussion. It’s about finding a middle or common ground. But negotiation can also mean to get over or around something, such as negotiating the vacuum around the furniture. When it comes to children, they often try to negotiate “around” us to get the result they want.

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How to Talk to Teens: 3 Ways to Get Your Teen to Listen

How to Talk to Teens: 3 Ways to Get Your Teen to Listen

You know the drill: you’re trying to talk to your teen about curfew. Or dinner. Or absolutely anything—and they pretend they can’t hear you. They start an argument with you, or give you an eye roll and a Whatever. Or they turn up their music. They won’t lift their eyes from their screens. They scoff or grunt in your general direction. There’s no eye contact, no acknowledgement, and absolutely no hint of, “Yes, Mom, I understand what you’re saying to me.”

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In Over Your Head? How to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Regain Control as a Parent

In Over Your Head? How to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Regain Control as a Parent

Recently, a frustrated mom sat in my office and said, “I just don’t know what to do anymore. We’ve tried everything! There’s no punishment that gets through to our child; there’s nothing we can say that will fix her behavior. There’s so much going on we just don’t know where to start.” Sound familiar? Parents often get by on intuition and advice from others, but let’s face it–that’s not always enough, especially if you have a child who doesn’t respond well to your attempts to manage their behavior.

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“I Caught My Child Lying.” How to Manage Sneaky Behavior in Kids

I Caught My Child Lying. How to Manage Sneaky Behavior in Kids

Let’s face it; we are probably all guilty of some type of “sneaking around” when we were younger. We may have stolen cigarettes from our parents, or lied about going to a friend’s house, or said we were going to the “library” when we were really going to a dance. We may have even thought we were justified at the time and come up with all kinds of reasons to explain our misbehavior.

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How to Keep Calm and Guide Your Child to Better Behavior This Year

How to Keep Calm and Guide Your Child to Better Behavior This Year

Have you been looking back on the last year, reflecting on how things went with your child? If so, perhaps you feel frustrated when you think about his or her behavior—and your reaction to it. Maybe you feel like no matter what you do, nothing changes. But understand that positive change can happen in your family. You’re not stuck in those negative patterns—you really do have the power to improve things, starting today.

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6 Ways to Manage Tantrums, Misbehavior and Meltdowns During the Holidays

6 Ways to Manage Tantrums, Misbehavior and Meltdowns During the Holidays

If you have a child or teen who misbehaves, the holidays can be a source of infinite stress and anxiety. Your individual expectations of the holidays can be seriously at odds: you expect to have a nice, shared time with your whole family and maybe attend some larger family gatherings; they expect to get every gift they demand, and they intend to spend their school break staying up late, sleeping in, and playing video games. The resulting holiday season can be filled with tantrums, obnoxious behavior, and lots of yelling and screaming.

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Demanding Children and Teens: Is Entitlement Just a Stage?

Demanding Children and Teens: Is Entitlement Just a Stage?

Your 10-year-old son begs you to buy him the newest video game. He cries, “All my friends have it. Why can’t you be like all the other parents? They buy their kids the stuff they want!” Or, your 16-year-old daughter is annoyed that she has to drive the old beat up Chevy to school. “I don’t want to be seen in this piece of junk! Have you seen what kind of cars the other kids drive!?”

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Manipulative Child Behavior? My Kids Are Too Smart for Their Own Good

Manipulative Child Behavior? My Kids Are Too Smart for Their Own Good

Does this sound familiar? My middle schooler blackmails me emotionally – he cries that I 'don’tcare about him and love his brother more'when I ask him to stop playing his video games. It's true that he's a more difficult kid, and his wordsmake me feel so bad that I oftenfeel guilty and let him continue to play. Or My teenager negotiates with me relentlessly to get her way. 'If you let me go to the party tonight,' she'll say, 'then I promise I'll get all my work done tomorrow.' I figure, why not?So I let her go. But then,'Oops!'She conveniently forgets all her promises.

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Screen Time: Using Technology as a Consequence or Reward for Your Child

Screen Time: Using Technology as a Consequence or Reward for Your Child

It's important to understand that you can’t getyour childto care about homework, choresor hygiene just because you do. What you can do is help them complete those tasks and reach certain goals regardless of how they feel about them. You do this by offering something important to them, in order to get them to complete something important to you. What do kids value? Screen time. In other words, phone, Internet, TV andvideo games.

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Does Your Child Act Out to Manipulate You? How to Stop Falling for It

Does Your Child Act Out to Manipulate You? How to Stop Falling for It

Does your child use anger or threats to get what he wants? Does he pick fights and blackmail you emotionally? Or maybe he acts helpless or plays sick to get out of doing chores or homework. Whether kids manipulate us aggressively or passively, this behavior makes most of us feel out of control and “played” by our kids. Debbie Pincus, creator of Calm Parent: AM & PM, tells you how you can break this cycle while staying calm and in control.

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Anger with an Angle: Is Your Child Using Anger to Control You?

Anger with an Angle: Is Your Child Using Anger to Control You?

Have your child’s angry outbursts worn you down so much that you’ve simply learned to give in? You should know that this is not a phase or a behavior that will “just go away on its own.” Read on to discover 5 things you can do to stop your child from using “Anger with an Angle” today.

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Anger as a Weapon: When Your Child “Points the Gun” at You

Anger as a Weapon: When Your Child Points the Gun at You

From young children to teens, James Lehman, MSW explains why your child is in trouble if he or she uses anger and acting out behavior to control others. When children use anger to get what they want, it can feel for all the world like they’re pointing a loaded weapon at you. As a parent, you dread the ugly and sometimes violent emotional outbursts that come with this type of behavior. I want to caution people that once a child is using extreme anger, they’re in a lot of trouble.

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Gut Check: Do You Tiptoe around Your Child?

Gut Check: Do You Tiptoe around Your Child?

You may not want to admit it, but you do it. You’re afraid of setting your child off, so you don’t ask him to pull his fair share around the house. You dread the next outburst, so you put on a happy face, ask him politely to help and end up doing it yourself anyway. There’s a difference between being considerate of your child and tiptoeing around him. Here, James Lehman talks about tiptoeing around kids who are reactive in a negative way. He defines tiptoeing as being afraid to ask your child to do routine responsibilities or to meet age appropriate expectations out of fear of that child’s reaction. How did this happen and what can you do about it?

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Masters of Manipulation: How Kids Control You With Behavior

Masters of Manipulation: How Kids Control You With Behavior

Kids manipulate their parents as part of their normal routine. They learn to use their charms and strengths to get their way and negotiate more power in the family. Sometimes that manipulation is harmless, but there are other times when the stakes are higher and kids use bad behavior to make you back down. In this situation, the manipulation becomes a power and control game for the child, and that’s where it gets dangerous for parents. The real problem with manipulation is when kids use behavioral threats to manipulate you.

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