Studies indicate that manipulative children are behaving in this way because they are vying for attention and trying to get their parents to listen. These kids feel isolated and have needs which haven’t been met. Certain types of parents are more likely to fall prey to manipulation. They include:
- Permissive parents
- Overindulgent parents
- Domineering parents
- Single parents
- Overprotective parents
Whether or not you fall into one of these categories isn’t really the issue. What is important is knowing how to successfully stop your child from manipulating you. It isn’t an overnight process by any means. But, it CAN be done. Keep reading to learn more.
Spend More Time Together
Regardless of the age of your child, it’s important to spend as much time with him or her as possible – especially when you notice increased manipulative behavior. This type of bonding makes a child feels safe and secure. It’s an indication that you’re always willing to listen.
Even if your schedule only allows you to spend 15 to 20 minutes of quality time together at a time, try to fit two or three of these blocks into your day. Obviously, if your child is younger, more time will probably be required. During these times, don’t forget to express your love and appreciation. Doing so might have a tendency to make your child less manipulative.
Set Reasonable Limits
All children need guidance. Setting reasonable limits helps to provide just that. In addition, most children actually welcome rules. These same rules provide structure in their lives. As your child gets older, less structure is typically necessary.
In the event that your child disagrees with the limits you’ve set forth, hold your ground. At this point, try not to lecture about why a particular rule was put into place. Calmly discussing the situation usually puts things into better perspective – at least enough to keep the peace.
Your child may compare you to other parents who happen to be more lenient about certain issues. But, don’t let that sway you. You’re the one who knows what’s best for your child. Don’t let the comparison make you feel less confident in your parenting skills.
Avoid Power Struggles
Avoid power struggles at all costs. If your child refuses to comply with something that you’ve asked them to do, don’t continually insist that it be done immediately. Simply make your point and reiterate that there will be consequences if the task remains uncompleted. Arguing only makes things worse.
You’ll have an easier time with this if your child’s other parent agrees with you when it comes to discipline. Presenting a united front makes it virtually impossible for children to talk the “weaker” parent into siding with them behind your back.
Using these tips will put you on the right track in regard to stopping your child’s manipulative behavior. One of the most important things to remember is not to give up. It is entirely possible to correct this situation. A manipulative child is never too young or old to change. Typically, the sooner you get started working on the problem, the better.