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Teen Manipulator: I Know How to Play My Parents Like A Violin

Does this sound like your relationship with your teen child? Do you feel manipulated and out of control? If so, you are not alone. As children mature and develop adult behaviors, they try hard to learn how to take control of their circumstances. Depending on your level of connectedness, an adolescent child will often use manipulation as a way of claiming his or her autonomy in the family structure. It’s actually quite normal for kids to test these boundaries, but it can turn into a problem if parents lose authority as the head of the family. Zion Educational Systems Family Advocates can help parents find answers for their troubled children. Call 866-471-8579 to learn more.

Help for Parents Whose Lose Control of Their Kids

Teenagers learn which buttons to punch from the time they can speak. And as they get older, the techniques improve, sometimes to the point of being master manipulators. They will take the steam-roller approach that worked as a child – Can I mommy? Can I mommy? Can I mommy? – and perfect it. But stand firm, and remain emotionless. Set your bottom line and stand by it. Whatever you do, don’t engage in the ensuing tantrum because that is the next step in their strategy. If your child can make you angry enough, you will give up, and they know it. If you remain calm, then the lying will start or they will try to make you feel guilty for something. If you can stay strong, your child may give up, at least for a while. When possible, allow your child to make choices between things that are acceptable to you. The adolescent mind is not fully developed until well into their twenties, so your teenager often lacks the ability to see consequences in the future. As the adult, you must guide their decisions and never agree to anything that is dangerous or ill-suited for your child. Stay calm and don’t engage in their negativity. Let your children know that you love them and that you understand their frustration. And remember, this too shall pass.

If you would like to know more about therapeutic boarding school and other residential programs for troubled teens, please contact a family counselor at Zion Educational Systems for guidance.  To get started click the button below!

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