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.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
COGNITIVE SCIENCE: "Effects of Manipulation on Attributions of Causation, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility."
Mental Help: "DSM-5: The Ten Personality Disorders: Cluster B."
PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center: "Bullying statistics."
PSYCHOLOGIA: "Mind Control techniques to Be Aware of."
Psychology Today: "7 Ways to Get Out of Guilt Trips," "Emotional Extortion: How Adolescents Manipulate Parents."
Solstice East: "Don't let Your Teen Bully You: Putting An End to Manipulative Teen Behavior."
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "The Ethics of Manipulation."
Top How Do You Deal with a Manipulative Teenager Girl Related Articles
13 Tips for Parenting a Teen With ADHDParenting a teenager who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be challenging. Parents can use specific strategies to help their teen cope with school and homework. Special care should be taken to help an ADHD teen drive safely and avoid alcohol and drug use.
Alcohol and TeensAlcohol is the most frequently used drug by American teenagers. Teens that drink are more likely to drive under the influence, have unprotected sex, and use other drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Symptoms of alcohol abuse in teens include lying, breaking curfew, becoming verbally or physically abusive toward others, making excuses, smelling like alcohol, having mood swings, and stealing.
ADHD in TeensAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in teens is a disruption of neurocognitive functioning. Genetics contribute to ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD in teens include inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, or a combination of these. Treatment may include cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior therapy, medication, or alternative therapies.
How To Deal With Preteen (Tween) Attitude?How To Deal With Preteen (Tween) Attitude? Learn about tips that may help you deal with your tween's attitude.
PubertyThe time when boys and girls begin the process of sexual maturation is called puberty. During this time, both sexes undergo a series of biological changes that include a rapid increase in height, bone growth, weight increase, the growth of pubic hair, breast development, and the onset of menstruation in girls, and testicle, penis, and muscle enlargement in boys.
Teen DepressionDepression in teenagers may be caused by many factors. Symptoms of teen depression include apathy, irresponsible behavior, sadness, sudden drop in grades, withdrawal from friends, and alcohol and drug use. Treatment of depression in adolescents may involve psychotherapy and medications.
Teen Drug AbuseDrugs commonly abused by teens include tobacco products, marijuana, cold medications, inhalants, depressants, stimulants, narcotics, hallucinogens, PCP, ketamine, Ecstasy, and anabolic steroids. Some of the symptoms and warning signs of teen drug abuse include reddened whites of eyes, paranoia, sleepiness, excessive happiness, seizures, memory loss, increased appetite, discolored fingertips, lips or teeth, and irritability. Treatment of drug addiction may involve a combination of medication, individual, and familial interventions.
Teen Drug Abuse SlideshowTeen drug abuse is a growing concern today. Learn statistics, facts, warning signs, and effects related to teen substance abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, prescription drugs, alcohol, illegal street drugs and more.
Teen Drama: Handling Mean Girls, Cyber Bullying, and TextingHere are tips on dealing with teen dating, sexting, cyber bullying, mean girls, periods, bad breath, and more as health experts explain when and how to get help.
Disease Prevention for TeensTeenagers recognize that they are developmentally between child and adult. Teen health prevention includes maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, preventing injuries and screening annually for potential health conditions that could adversely affect teenage health.
What Are Teenager Problems with Parents?Teenhood is a complex phase of life in which there are so many physical, emotional, and intellectual changes. The teenager might be coping with a variety of issues at this age. They may have a constant conflict with their parents because they want to assert their independence and be in control of their lives.
What Should Parents Expect in the Tween Years?The tween years are the ages between 8 and 12 years old. Parents can expect physical, emotional, and social changes in their kids during the tween years.