Devious Teen? How To Handle a Manipulative Mastermind
Human beings begin to learn the art of manipulation soon after they’re born. The first positive results come when a baby cries and is quickly pacified with food, a dry diaper or the soothing voice of a parent or another loved one.
The baby quickly learns crying and making a fuss results in getting their needs met. By the time children reach their teen years, they are masters at manipulation.
Here are some things you can do when your teen is getting out of hand with manipulating tactics.
Set the Example to Follow
The do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do approach never works. The same holds true for all the children in the family.
They must also follow the same rules you expect your unruly teen to follow. The standards of behavior you expect your manipulative teen to follow must be according to the standard your entire household is held to.
Get Expert Help
You do not and should not attempt to go it alone when it comes to a teen that uses tactics such as continual defiant behavior, compulsive lying and manipulation as a means to an end.
Expert teen counseling, like that from Lifeline, is available help parent’s get to the root of the problem of your manipulative teen.
Do Not Pretend Everything Is Fine
You can expect teenagers to emotionally boil over once in a while or even try to use excuses or manipulation to get their own way or to get out of rare moments of trouble. The problem is not the occasional normal teen issue.
It’s the chronic things such as lying, manipulation and excessive defiance that can spiral out of control. You have to decide if a problem is an isolated occurrence or is becoming a chronic issue.
It’s easy to ride the roller coaster of ups and downs with a teen that has chronic behavioral issues, deluding yourself this will be the last occurrence and everything will be fine. When behaviors reach a chronic stage, professional assistance is needed.
Know Where Behaviors Can Lead
You want your child to grow out of negative behaviors the same as they did their clothes when they were young. Those new shoes on a toddler may still be good even after his feet have outgrown them.
However, your teen may not grow out of a behavior. It may worsen over time, escalating to a point where law enforcement or school authorities must intervene.
Some behaviors can lead to outbursts of violence, and you should know the early warning signs of violent behavior. The underlying causes of the unruliness and manipulation tactics your teen is using may be rooted in anything from substance abuse to a treatable psychiatric condition.
Knowing what can happen as time goes on should prompt you to get the help you need now before things get worse.
Let your children know and feel the love you have for them and do not let there be any doubt as to your commitment to helping them be the best they can be. Let them know that you are there to help them through the rough times and that they can have hope for a better future.
Being available and listening is the first step.
Do you have any strategies for dealing with a manipulative teen? Please share them in the Comments below.