7 Signs Your Toddler is Manipulating YOU
November 8, 2011
Children start learning how to manipulate their parents when they’re mere infants, and by the time they’re toddlers, they really start to hone their manipulative skills. A baby quickly learns that crying gets attention and will figure out how to fake it in order to get more. As they grow older kids want to establish some control over their parents who are ultimately in charge. Unless they’re handled effectively, these power struggles can really get out of hand. Once children figure out how to manipulate their parents and get away with it, they can become little demons. Here are 7 signs your toddler is trying to manipulate you.
- Fake crying – As mentioned before, fake crying is the first method used by children to manipulate their parents. By the time they’re toddlers, parents should know the difference between real crying and the manipulative kind. If your toddler starts to cry or whine only when they know you’re within earshot, you’re being manipulated, especially if they follow you when you walk away.
- Screaming – Toddlers watch their parent’s reactions and will use whatever is effective. If screaming or throwing a tantrum gets their parents upset, they’ll keep trying it as long as it works. They soon figure out that screaming gets a much better reaction in public places than it does at home and will save their tantrums for just such occasions.
- Affection – These little darlings will also use affection to manipulate you if they can. Toddlers can use fake affection to get what they want, or if that doesn’t work, they’ll withhold affection. When your 2 year old comes over and gives you a big hug and a kiss for now reason, watch out, he’s probably up to something. If you say no and try to console him with a hug, he’s likely to push you away to get what he wants.
- Dueling parents – Another manipulation technique used by toddlers is pitting one parent against the other. If mommy says no, they’ll give daddy a try to get a different result. It’s very important that both parents remain consistent with each other, or the child will soon learn which one is likely to give in.
- Big deal – A good sign that your toddler is manipulating you is when she constantly makes a big deal out of little issues. If there’s a big battle over every day things like dressing, meals or bedtime, the child is trying to exert control. This can be very tiresome and kids will use this to their advantage to wear you down.
- Naughty on purpose – If your toddler does something he knows is naughty, chances are he’s trying to manipulate you. When you say no and he immediately dumps your plant out on the carpet, he’s out for revenge. He hopes you’ll live in dread of whatever he’ll do next time you defy him.
- Pouting – One of the most obvious methods of manipulation by toddlers is pouting. They’ll go off and sulk in an attempt to make you feel sorry for them. Don’t fall for it! This is the oldest trick in the book.
The important thing to remember about child manipulation is to never let it get you angry. Toddlers will attempt these different techniques in order to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Keep in mind that you are the adult in the situation and it’s up to you to handle yourself maturely. Don’t get into power struggles with your toddler or interpret their misbehavior as a personal attack on you. By consistently maintaining a cheerful firmness with your children, they will quickly learn that they can’t manipulate you.
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