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Manipulation

It is very common for children to use acting out as a way of solving their problems. As a result, parents can get stuck in patterns where they are being manipulated to respond in a certain way to their child’s behavior. Common or not, manipulation can be a really challenging and frustrating behavior to deal with.

Have you noticed that your child has started to use power and control in an attempt to get what s/he wants? From the preschooler who uses your fear of a public tantrum to get you to buy a candy bar in the checkout line to the teenager who gets angry and verbally abusive when you tell him he can’t go to a party, our experts have seen it all and know the proven techniques to help you reset the power dynamic in your family. You will find advice about seeing the difference between persuasion and manipulation and what is a normal and healthy part of development versus what crosses the line, as well as how to respond effectively when your child is using manipulation to gain control.

Ready to end the manipulation once and for all? Below you’ll find our suggested articles to get you started.

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

Masters of Manipulation: How Kids Control You With Behavior

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

Does Your Child Say This? “You don’t love me.”

Does Your Child Say This? "You don't love me." Does your child use guilt to manipulate you? In this month’s issue, James Lehman, creator of The Total Transformation Program for parents, shows you how to deflect the guilt by using an effective response that puts the emphasis where it should be: on your child and the... Read more »

Gut Check: Do You Tiptoe around Your Child?

“It was always like walking on eggshells around here. Very tense,” says Josephine, mother of 17-year-old Jamie. “She was totally disrespectful and condescending and I was ready to throw her out.” Josephine recalls how her “blood was always boiling” at home because her daughter’s unending anger stoked her own anger, and she dreaded the next... Read more »

The Jekyll and Hyde Child: Targeted Behavior Problems

For many children, behavior problems are not universal; they’re targeted. Targeted at dad, at mom, at the stepmother, at the fiancé, at a sibling. The following two case studies reveal how normally charming and compliant children can become defiant or even abusive with one person in the family. James Lehman examines why this happens and... Read more »