by James Lehman, MSW
Kids manipulate their parents. It’s part of their normal routine. They learn to use their charms and strengths to get their way and negotiate more power in the family.
“You can be sure your child knows what it takes to make you back down.”
Some forms of manipulation by kids are harmless. For example, if your daughter wants x-y-z, and she’s extra charming to you that week, but she’s getting good grades, she’s trustworthy and she’s doing her chores, there’s no reason for her not to go. The display of charm is sweet, harmless and appropriate.
On the other hand, that charm can be used inappropriately, such as when a child plays one parent against another to get what he wants. Or when a child has demonstrated previously untrustworthy behavior and tries to manipulate his parents by being overly sweet and compliant in order to get the chance to go out on Friday night.
Read full article Masters of Manipulation: How Kids Control You With Behavior