Drug testing

Parenting Your Teenager: How to Respond to Manipulation

Q. My daughter has gotten very good at manipulating us, and sometimes we do not even know it has happened until much later. How can we tell if we are being manipulated, and how can we stop it, or at least handle it better?

A. Here's the thing about teens and manipulation:

The average 15-year-old is 15 going on 25 and 15 going on 5 all at the same time.

What this means is they combine the verbal ability and "wisdom" of the 15-going-on-25-year-old with the "I want what I want when I want it which is NOW! and I will make you pay if you say no" of the 15-going-on-5-year-old and come up with some very powerful manipulation.

For now, all you need to know is that if you think you are being manipulated, you probably are, and not only that, you probably already have been.

Trust your "parenting gut." If you get an uneasy feeling about what is happening, that can be an indication that manipulation is going on.

Some other ways to tell if teens are manipulating:

=>Behavior does not match words

=>Stories either don't match what you know, keep changing, just don't make sense, or some combination of these three indicators.

Here are some things you can do:

One of the very best defenses against manipulation is to let your "yes" mean "yes" and let your "no" mean "no."

If you say no at first, and your teen keeps asking you and asking you over and over, and then you give in and say yes, you have taught them that your no does not mean no.

What makes it even worse is that you have taught them that no really means

"I just haven't bugged my parent enough to get to yes."

And each and every teen I have ever known is more than up to that challenge.

Another way to look at this is a concept I call "Concrete Parenting."

Have you ever walked through a concrete wall?

Of course not.

But what if one day you slipped and fell into a concrete wall and went through without any harm?

Human nature would say that you would be much more likely to try it again.

It's the same way with parenting. If kids get it that trying to bug and manipulate you is like running into a concrete wall, eventually they are going to get tired of getting their head all bloody and stop.

Let me make two predictions about what will happen as you try to change your responses to your daughter's manipulation.

Prediction One: It won't work. At least not at first. This is because for a while now, your daughter has had it made. She is not going to welcome any changes that you are making. She will try to get you to change back. So you have to resolve to keep at it, no matter the resistance you get.

Hang in there, it's worth it, for both of you.

Prediction Two: For a while, you will still get manipulated. It will go something like this:

First, you will not realize you have been manipulated until after it has already happened.

Next, you will begin to notice it while it is happening, and be able to take corrective action.

Then finally, you will see it coming, and be able to cut it off before it gets going.

Visit ParentingYourTeenager.com to subscribe to leading Parenting Coach Jeff Herring's f'ree internet newsletter "Parenting Your Teenager" and the f'ree 5 day e-program on the "5 Things to Avoid Saying to Your Teenager."

In The News:

A lagoon in western Greece is starting to look more like an abandoned home's basement than a picturesque shoreline.
An angler in Georgia recently reeled in a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle off a pier in Tybee Island.
An alligator was spotted in a New Jersey township this week, authorities say -- and are asking people to report if they see the creature.
Residents affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Florence may have noticed something unusual floating in the storm’s floodwaters: “islands” of fire ants.
Two tiny explorers are pushing the bounds of their kind, but if scientists have their way, the two adventurers will soon have plenty of company.
A new study shows that dozens of ice volcanoes used to litter the surface of the dwarf planet, Ceres billions of years ago.
This is the moment a snorkeler swimming in Scotland spotted a huge dorsal fin behind his pal - and realized a massive shark was directly behind them.
Archaeologists believe they have found the final resting place of Captain James Cook's ship HMS Endeavour off the East Coast of America.
An actual astronaut has suggested he — or any qualified person — may be useful to tech billionaire Elon Musk’s planned round trip to the Moon in 2023.
An ancient, 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery has been found in Lincolnshire, England. Included in the find were pieces of pottery, skeletons and "grave goods" for the deceased.

Calming Tips for Hyperactive Children

Parents of hyperactive children know the "Would you please just... Read More

Back to School Success: The Parents Job and the Students Job

Q. With another school year starting, we are not sure... Read More

Children are People, Not Machines

When growing up, my father frequently reminded me to "pay... Read More

Your Big Yellow Bus

The big yellow school bus is coming down my road... Read More

A Mothers Love

Once upon a time there was a beautiful bird whose... Read More

How To Entertain A Child While Working From A Home Office

There is no doubt that the benefits of being a... Read More

First Year With Twins - A Father?s Point Of View

People always ask my wife and I: "How did you... Read More

Educational Jigsaw Puzzles, How Educational Are They?

Many companies advertise their products as being educational. How much... Read More

Parenting---Roots and Wings

I'm sure many of you have heard that old Hallmark... Read More

Develop Your Childs Genius: The King of Games - the Game of Kings

Many people still think that the game of chess is... Read More

His Toy, Her Toy

I remember when my daughter was born. Visions of her... Read More

Why Do People Have Kids?

Despite the theory that people have kids because they want... Read More

How Illiteracy Can Ruin Your Childs Life

It may seem obvious to many people why literacy is... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Back to School Blues

Q: Our son has been in honors classes all through... Read More

How To Use Positive Child Discipline

I am a single mother of a 17 year old... Read More

Should The Dad-To-Be Attend The Birth?

Not so long ago a dad-to-be would pace up and... Read More

A Dads Thoughts On Dads day

21 Reasons I Love Being A DadWhat you will read... Read More

A Good Preschool Idea

The successful preschool idea behind many successful preschool learning centers... Read More

ADHD: A Dialogue With a Non-Believer, part two

Dear Sir, It was with some interest that I read... Read More

Clean Slates and Fresh Starts

Hope, excitement and anxiety all wrapped up in fresh haircuts... Read More

Parents - Create An Emotionally Healthy Connection With Your Child

"I could have helped you if I would have known,... Read More

I Dont Believe in ADHD

O.K. I've heard it a hundred times from my prison... Read More

Cloning; is it for you?

What would it be like to have a clone? What... Read More

Boundaries - Why Theyre Needed

Imagine a child who lacks ownership of his own life,... Read More

Teaching Your Child To Lift a Car

Yesterday my husband Wade took the day off (that's one... Read More

outdoor walkway lighting led area floodlight Pete's produce ..