5 Signs Your Teen Daughter Manipulates You
Emotional manipulation is a tactic teens discover they can easily use against their parents in order to get their way. The important thing to remember is that as the parent, you know what is best for your child, and your whole family for that matter. Fortunately, your teenager cannot play games with you unless you allow it. It’s also important for us to teach our children that although we hear their concerns – their feelings are not the only feelings. Other people live on this planet too. Here are the 5 signs your teen daughter manipulates you.
She’s over dramatic about almost anything
When a particular situation occurs that she’s not too happy about, you hear questions like: “why are you ruining my life?” and “why do you hate me?”. This is a strategy she’s using in order to make you feel bad, hoping that you’ll make her exempt from your rules. Remember to view the situation objectively. Taking the emotions out of it will enable you to see the big picture and determine what’s best.
Starts crying to see how quickly you give in.
After badgering you with the never-ending “can I please?, can I please?” and “why not?”, she begins to cry, thinking that if you weren’t annoyed before, you will be now. After all, how could you keep saying no to a sweet girl who’s crying? Don’t let it fool you. It’s one more attempt to get you to go back on what you originally decided and to defy authority. Let her know that crying and tantrums are unacceptable, and you will be happy to listen to her when she’s calm and respectful.
Exploits relationships with extended family members to get what she wants.
By creating an alliance – type relationship with grandparents, aunties, or others, she is building favor for a reason. She already knows it’s not easy to persuade you, but perhaps an adult who has credibility, can get you to change your mind. As an added bonus, she’ll enjoy spending time with someone more permissive, who also buys her gifts. Additionally, moms and dads who are being played against each other by their teen daughter, will need to show that husband and wife have a unified front.
She tries to make you feel guilty.
Getting you to believe that you’re treating her unfairly is one of the easiest game plans she can come up with. “You love my brother/sister more than me!” has been a long time classic. Parents who feel the need to get approval from their child, are more susceptible to feeling guilty. Once she knows she has your pity, and that you feel sorry for her, she’ll get her way. Doing what’s best for your household, and being liked by her, are two completely different things – with different outcomes.
Your daughter is probably well aware that she’s less likely to get caught, by being deceptive. When you ask why her homework or chores weren’t done, she can easily change the subject, or simply say “I forgot”. Having a melt down and saying she’s sorry, is a great way to avoid consequences, as long as it sounds sincere. Also, being able to make an impression on her friends is another big deal to her, but it’s something that requires her to have more freedom. Not being truthful about where she’s going or who she’s with is a good way for her to cover up. Showing affection out of the blue, is an indication that she wants something. An unexpected hug, or “I love you” can soften you up. If she’s usually difficult for you to get along with, she knows those methods are likely to work, because you’ll be surprised by the fact that she’s being so nice.
Keep in mind that this is only a phase, and perhaps it will be quickly outgrown. If things escalate to the point of you asking “what is she up to this time?” and “what does she want now?” – she’ll learn that emotional manipulation simply works against her. However, clearly stating what your rules and expectations are and staying consistent is a great way to reduce conflict. It’s better to look back knowing that you kept your child safe from harm, by doing what’s right, and providing structure.