Teenage manipulation is a form of bullying. The six ways your teen may manipulate you include asking for forbidden things, using emotional blackmail, being angry, retaliating, guilt tripping and strategic lying.
Most of us know teens bully their peers. But did you know that many teens bully their parents? When a teenager is manipulative, that's a form of bullying. A manipulative teenager can make you feel helpless and insecure about your parenting.
For the health of the family, it’s crucial to identify this behavior and deal with it before it impacts your parenting.
6 ways your teen manipulates you
Teenage girls can use manipulation to cover up mistakes when they are in trouble. They also do this to gain your attention and a sense of power or control in a world dominated by adults. The main reason they resort to manipulation is that it is effective.
These are the tactics teen girls use:
Repeatedly asking for things that are forbidden:
Your teenage girl will use repetition hoping to wear you down and make you give in. To break the habit, stand firm in your decision. Come up with a reply and repeat it every time the situation demands it.
Suppose your child wants to go out for fun but has not finished the day's schoolwork or home chores. Your answer should be firm and constant. Tell your child to complete their duties before going out with their friends. Regardless of how many times they ask, don't give up. They will learn that your answer will not change.
Your goal is to see your child happy. Your child knows this. Unfortunately, a manipulative teenager will take advantage of this to get their way. They can easily use your emotions against you by being irrational and coercive.
For example, your teenage daughter may blackmail you into buying a pair of shoes by saying they won't be popular in school if you don't. This form of emotional manipulation can be hard to handle. Remember that, while you want your child to be happy, you also must teach them about the world.
Anger and explosive behavior:
If your child resorts to anger and violence when you deny them something, they may be trying to manipulate you. They may throw things, get into a heated argument with you, or yell. The behavior is similar to throwing a tantrum on a bigger scale.
This is a common strategy used by manipulative teenagers when you won't let them have their way. They may do something to hurt your feelings or throw some hurtful words your way. In other cases, they will not follow through with what you expect of them, including house chores and school work.
When your child says things to you like “you love my sister more than you love me,” they usually don’t mean it. Teens use guilt-tripping as a way to manipulate you. In extreme cases, they will threaten to commit suicide if they don’t have their way.
It’s not uncommon for teens to manipulate you through lies. They will promise to do something you want them to do if you allow them to do what they want. Your teenage daughter may tell you she will do all the house chores for the whole week if you let them go out. When you permit them, they forget their promise.
How to deal with manipulative teenage behavior
It can be tricky to crack down on your teen's manipulative behavior because you want them to be happy. Nevertheless, sometimes it's crucial to put your foot down and lay the rules down. Your child will become less manipulative if:
- There are consistent consequences for manipulative behavior: enforce some strict repercussions whenever your child tries to pull their manipulative stunts on you. Reason with them and agree on a consensual contract that outlines your house rules and consequences. Let them know there are consequences to face for breaking the rules and be firm about them.
- You encourage them to be honest: create an environment so full of honesty that your teen won't have a reason to lie to you. Where there is honesty, there is no room for manipulation.
- You think through arguments: during a conflict with your teenager, it can be hard to think things through. It's easy to say something you will regret later. Instead, practice the act of pausing in the middle of an argument with your child. Tell them to give you time to think about the issue. Come back with a level head and provide an appropriate response.