Parenting today can be very difficult. In a world of smartphones and tablets, it can be difficult to keep up. Many times the playing field can be very uneven, and children intentionally do things to mess with your emotions and get the upper hand in difficult situations.
To help balance the ever-changing playing field between parents and children, take note of these six ways your child is trying to take advantage of you:
1. Lies of omission
"What Mom doesn't know won't hurt her." How many times have you heard that or even said that? Children lie by omitting facts to get what they want.
For example: Your daughter wants to have a boy over while you are not home. She will simply ask you if a friend can come over and intentionally leave out the fact that the "friend" is actually her boyfriend.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. If they want to do something, always inquire (1) who will be there, (2) Where are they going and when will they be home and (3) where will they be. The more detailed you are with your questions, the harder it is for your children to lie to you.
Many children provoke their parents to anger by doing something hurtful or intentionally not doing something they were asked to do, such as clean their room. It is a way for them to even the score when they don't get what they want.
Don't get mad at your children when they do this. Simply tell your child, in a serious tone, that you will not accept what was done or not done. Do not yell. Explain to your child why you do the things you do, and discuss with them the consequences of their choices.
3. Emotional blackmail
No parent wants to cause harm to his or her child. They never want to make their children feel bad or depressed. Children sometimes use this to their advantage.
When a child tries to emotionally blackmail their parent, they often scream or cry when they're told "no". Other tactics include: using faked sadness, sulking, pouting or saying things like, "I will be picked on because I don't have..."
Help your children understand why you say "No" to something. Be sure to discuss with your child why they feel their peers will punish them because they don't have something. Remember not to yell, even when they yell at you. Speak to them calmly, and help them work through their emotions.
4. Creating doubt
A huge fear many parents have is that they are awful parents. Many children like to play with that fear by creating doubt. Once you firmly say no to their request, they will begin to say things that make you question your decision.
For example: Your 10-year-old son might ask to have a cellphone. You told him no because he is too young. He might reply by saying, "If I don't have a cellphone, then how can I inform you if something is wrong?" He might mention that other parents have given his friends cellphones. If you continue to say no, he might even say good parents care about where their children are and what they are doing and nothing makes that easier than a cellphone.
Have a discussion with your child and ask him or her to explain their reasoning. Then, take the opportunity to explain yours and work out a compromise. It might be to wait a year or to find a way to prove he is responsible now. Make sure your child agrees to the deal and hold him or her to it.
5. Parent vs. Parent
Every child, at one point or another, has pitted their parents against each other and used the classic line: "But Dad told me I could go." The child will ask a parent something and, without discussing it with their spouse, he or she will approve the request. This allows the child to place parent against parent which makes for a very awkward situation for you and your spouse.
Talk to your spouse about the boundaries you will set for your children, and don't cross them. If your child approaches you with something you haven't discussed with your spouse, simply reply, "I have to talk to your father about this." Don't let your child create a divide between you and your spouse. Show them you two are united.
Several children use their cellphones and computers to do what they want. They intentionally download apps their parents have never heard of. They use acronyms and place different meanings on common words so parents do not understand. Today many children do not use Facebook because their parents are on there.
Apps like WebSafety, help you understand and monitor what your child does online. WebSafety notifies parents of cyberbullying, inappropriate language, downloaded apps, visits to pornographic websites, Facebook and Instagram activity and it even has a curfew blocker so you can turn the phone or tablet off.
Click to download WebSafety on your child's phone or tablet to give you the peace of mind you deserve.