A child manipulates adults – what if a child is a manipulator?
Many mothers know firsthand about children’s demonstrative tantrums. Of course, we are not talking about situations where the baby is sick, upset, or simply missed parental attention. We are talking about little manipulators and what to do for “cornered” parents.
See also: Children’s whims – how to deal with them?
The content of the article:
The most favorite tricks of children-manipulators – how does a child manipulate adults?
It is not common for all children to arrange hysterical manipulations. As a rule, only those children who used to be the center of attention and get whatever you want on a platter.
See also: How to raise an obedient child – 7 parenting secrets.
Such hysteria is always expressed violently, and many parents forced to compromise or give up and give in altogether. Especially when it happens in public.
So, In what form does the “terrorism” of little manipulators usually appear?
- Hyperactivity (not to be confused with psychoactive hyperactivity)
The child turns into a “jet plane”: he climbs into every bedside table, flies around the apartment, overturns everything, stomps his feet, screams, etc. In general, the more noise, the better. And even my mother’s shout is already attention. And then you can make demands, because mom will do everything so that “the child does not cry” and calms down.
- Demonstrative distraction and lack of independence
The child perfectly knows how to brush his teeth, comb his hair, tie his shoelaces, and collect toys. But in front of his mother, he plays a helpless crumb, categorically not wanting to do anything, or doing it deliberately slowly. This is one of the most “popular” manipulations, the reason for which is the overprotection of parents.
- Soreness, trauma
It is also a common children’s trick: the mother looks in horror at the thermometer heated on the radiator, urgently puts her to bed, feeds her with delicious jam and reads fairy tales, without leaving a single step from the “sick” toddler. Or he kisses a slight scratch on the child’s leg and carries him for 2 km in his arms, because “I can’t walk, it hurts, my legs are tired, etc.”.
So that your baby does not have to cheat on you, spend more time with him. If a child feels that he is loved, that he is important, then the need for such performances for him simply disappears. A dangerous situation can arise if such performances are encouraged – one day a child can really injure himself so that they finally pay attention to him.
What to do? Contact a doctor immediately, as soon as the child declares his illness or injury (do not frighten the doctors, namely, contact). Children do not like doctors and injections, so the “cunning plan” will be revealed immediately. Or the disease will be detected and treated in a timely manner.
- Tears, tantrums
A very effective method, especially when used in public. There, my mother will definitely not be able to refuse anything, because she will be afraid of the condemnation of passers-by. So we boldly fall to the ground, knock with our feet, shout, swear “you don’t love me!” and so on. If this situation is familiar to you, it means that your child has already learned the rule that “a mother can be controlled with the help of hysterics.”
- “It’s not my fault!”
This is a cat, brother, neighbor, classmate, etc. By shifting the blame onto another child, he tries to avoid punishment. In the future, this can deprive the child of his friends and elementary respect. Therefore, never shout or scold a child for offenses and tricks. Let the baby be sure that he can confess everything to you. Then he will have no fear of punishment. And after admitting, be sure to praise the child for his honesty and calmly explain why his trick is not good.
- Aggression, irritability
And all this in order to make the wish come true about another batch of soap bubbles, another doll, ice cream in the middle of winter, etc.
Ignore the behavior of your little manipulator, be adamant and unflappable. If the “audience” does not respond, then the actor will have to leave the stage and do something more useful.
The manipulations of the child are not just “exhausting the nerves” of the parents, it is also very serious negative attitude towards the future for a child. Therefore, learn to communicate with your child so that he does not have to resort to manipulation.
And if this has already happened – eradicate it immediately so that manipulation have not become a habit and a way of life…
See also: Types of parent-child relationships – which one is in your family?
What to do when the child is manipulating the parents – we learn to tame the little manipulator!
- The first time a child gave you a tantrum in a public place?
Ignore this tantrum. Step aside, defiantly be distracted by something, or distract the child with something so that he or she will forget about his tantrum. Having succumbed to manipulation once, you will be doomed to fight tantrums all the time.
- Did the child throw a tantrum at home?
First of all, ask all relatives-“spectators” to leave the room, or go out yourself with the child. Internally, collect yourself, count to 10, strictly, calmly and confidently explain to the child why it is impossible to do as he requires. No matter how the child shouts or hysterics, do not succumb to provocations, do not deviate from your demand. As soon as the baby calms down, hug him, tell him how much you love him, and explain why this behavior is unacceptable. Hysterics repeated? Repeat the whole cycle again. Only when the baby realizes that tantrums cannot achieve anything, he will stop using them.
- “I want, I want, I want …”
The famous trick of children to put pressure on a parent and do it their own way in spite of everything. Stand your ground. Your “mantra” should be unchanged – “lessons first, then the computer” or “first put the toys away, then on the swing.”
If the child continues to press on you with hysteria or other methods of manipulation, and you, as a punishment, banned him from the computer for 3 days, hold on for these 3 days, no matter what. If you surrender, consider that the “battle” is lost. The child should know that your word and position are iron.
- Lies and little lies “for the sake of salvation”
Maintain a relationship of trust with your child. The child should trust you 100 percent, the child should not be afraid of you. Only then will the child’s small and large lies (for any purpose) bypass you.
- Behaving to spite mom
Demonstratively uncleaned toys, ignoring your requests, returning home late at your request “to be at 8!” and so on. This is how the child expresses his protest and shows that he has gained the upper hand in this “fight”. Do not be rowdy, do not shout, do not swear – it is useless. Start with a heart-to-heart talk. It didn’t help – we turn on restrictions on the phone, computer, walks, etc. Wasted again? Change the method of communication with your child: captivate him with a new hobby, find an activity for him according to his interests, spend as much time with him as possible. Look for an approach to your child, cutting off the carrot and stick in favor of constructive dialogue and compromise.
- “Give me the computer! I won’t do my homework! I will not wash my face! I want a computer, that’s all! “
The situation is probably familiar to many (in different variations, but for modern children, alas, it is becoming very common). What to do? Be smarter. Let the child play enough, and at night calmly take the equipment and hide it (give it to the neighbors for storage). Then tell your child that the computer broke down and had to be taken for repair. Repairs are known to take a very long time. And during this time you can manage to switch the child’s attention to more real activities.
- Does the kid harass you and neighbors with shouts, kicks, rolls on the floor and throws toys?
Take it on handles, open the window and, together with the baby, drive out these dastardly “whims” into the street. The child will like the game, and the tantrum will go away on its own. It is much easier to distract a baby from a tantrum than a teenager. And it is at this age that the truth must be reinforced in the child – “you can’t achieve anything with whims and tantrums.”
- Playing on the feelings of parents or emotional blackmail
This usually applies to adolescents. The teenager with all his appearance shows that if mom (dad) does not fulfill his requirements, then the teenager will feel bad, sad, painful and in general “life is over, no one understands me, no one needs me here.” Ask yourself – will your child actually be happier if you make concessions? And won’t it become a habit for your child? And will your concessions not affect the formation of the child as a member of society? Your task is to convey to the child that life is not only “I want”, but also “must”. That you always have to sacrifice something, find a compromise in something, put up with something. And the sooner the child understands this, the easier it will be for him to adapt in adult life.
- “You are destroying my life!”, “It makes no sense for me to live when you do not understand me!” – this is a more serious blackmail, and cannot be ignored
If a child rushes with such words, because you did not let him on the bench in the yard to his friends and forced him to do his homework, stand your ground. First lessons, then friends. If the situation is really serious, then allow the teenager to do as he wants. Give him freedom. And be there (psychologically) in order to have time to support him when he “falls”. Sometimes it is easier to let a child make a mistake than to prove to him that he is wrong.
- The child demonstratively withdraws
He does not make contact, does not want to talk, closes himself in a room, etc. This is also one of the children’s manipulation strategies that requires a solution. First of all, establish the reason for this behavior of the child. It is possible that the situation is more serious than you think. If there are no serious reasons, and the child is just using this method of “pressing”, give him the opportunity to “ignore” you only as long as his patience is enough. Demonstrate that no amount of emotion, trickery, or manipulation cancels the child’s responsibilities – to clean up, wash, do homework, arrive on time, etc.
Parents’ mistakes in communicating with manipulative children – what cannot be done and said?
- Don’t run the situation. Teach your child to negotiate and compromise, do not cherish his manipulative behavior.
- Don’t blame yourself for being “tough”when a child cries in the middle of the street without receiving another batch of toy cars. This is not cruelty – this is part of the educational process.
- Do not swear, do not shout, and in any case do not use physical force – no slaps, cuffs and screams “well, I will shchaz you!”. Calmness and confidence are your main parenting tools in this situation.
If the tantrum is repeated, it means that persuasion does not work – be tough. The moment of truth is not always pleasant, and the baby must understand and remember this.
- Don’t give long lectures on good and bad… State your position firmly, clearly state the reason for the refusal of the child’s request, and stick to the chosen path.
- Do not allow a situation when a child falls asleep after a quarrel without ever making peace with you. The child should go to bed and go to school in a state of absolute calmness and awareness that his mother loves him, and everything is fine.
- Do not demand from the child what you yourself are not able to do. If you smoke, don’t ask your teen to quit smoking. If you are not particularly fond of cleaning, do not ask your child to put away toys. Teach your child by example.
- Do not limit the child in everything and everyone. Give him at least a little freedom of choice. For example, what kind of blouse he wants to wear, what side dish he wants for lunch, where he wants to go, etc.
- Don’t let your child ignore your own needs. Train him to take into account your needs and desires. And try to reckon with the child’s wishes too.
And most importantly – don’t ignore the child.… After the incident is over, be sure to kiss and hug the child. Having defined the boundaries of behavior for the child, do not move away from him!
Have you ever had to look for an approach to a manipulative child? Share your parenting experience in the comments below!
Must share this useful content with your loved one's
Visit Bologny for more useful and informative articles!