During adolescent years it’s normal for your teen to exhibit more emotional and dramatic behavior due to physical and mental developmental changes. However some teens exceed normal behavior and utilize forms of manipulation on their parents.
Common signs of a manipulative teen include:
- Making a parent feel guilty
- Turning one parent against the other
- Playing the victim
- Attention seeking
- Using others to get what they want
These manipulative teens typically have a goal in mind that causes them to need control within a specific situation. Reasons for why a teen is displaying manipulative behavior can include an effort to receive more love and attention, to avoid punishment, and ultimately get something that they want. If the manipulative teen realizes that they can get away with this behavior and are reaching their end goal; they will continue to take advantage of their parents, teachers, and peers.
So how do you know when your teen is being manipulative? There are common forms of manipulation that are apparent in teenagers. It’s beneficial for parents to understand what normal behavior is and when a teenager is displaying harmful or alarming tendencies.
Examples of teenage manipulation:
- Strategic lies – These are stories or lies that involve multiple parents and teenagers. For example your teen may say that they are staying overnight at a friend’s house, while that friend might tell a similar story to his/her parents.
- Shutting down & emotional blackmail – After punishment or not getting some that they want manipulative teens might ignore their parents and try to make them feel guilty. They hope that by making a parent feel as if they are making them depressed or sad; that they will get their way in the end.
- Retaliation – when a parent is forced to put their foot down they might find their teenager trying to hurt them in some emotional way. This is done in an effort by the teen to provoke the parent until they reach their original goal.
Manipulative teens will only stop if they realize that this behavior is no longer an effective way of getting what they want. In order to avoid the behavior from getting out of control, parents need to find an effective punishment to stop the behavior from manifesting. By addressing the behavior, parents are stopping any further issues down the road with relationships that the teen will have with family, friends, and peers.