03 September 2018

Guilt Tripper: How Parents Should Deal With Emotional Blackmail

Kids might have some growing up to do, but they are mature in a lot of ways. Take emotional blackmail. Despite their young years, most kids are competent guilt trippers. They can use the love you have for them to make you feel as if you’re in the wrong. It’s quite impressive when you stop to think about it.

It’s also dangerous from a parent’s viewpoint. Giving in to your children sets a bad example and lets them dictate terms. Moms and dad need to show love, but they also need to say “no” from time to time.

These are the ways to combat the inevitable backlash.

Call Them Out

Parents act as if they have to let things slide yet it isn’t the case. Regarding emotional blackmail, it’s essential to call them out when they are using the tactic. Why? It’s because it confronts the issue head-on. Kids may do it on purpose or they may copy their friends, yet they need to know it isn’t right. Don’t be aggressive as it will only exacerbate the situation. However, let them no it’s not right to try and blackmail someone in this way, particularly their mom. Hopefully, this will stop them from doing it again.

 Don’t Do It Yourself

Kids copy their role models. As a mommy, you’re one of the main mentors in their life. So, if you use guilt trips on them, then they will return the favor. And, let’s face facts and admit that adults love to break out the emotional blackmail. Everyone knows the classic line, “I’m not angry; just disappointed.” To get them to communicate effectively, give them the tools by leading by example. Sit them down and tell them what is wrong and how it makes you feel. Because they are good copiers, they will use the same methods when they need to talk openly.

Teach Them How To Act

Don’t rely on them to use their intuition. They are sharp, smart kids, but they are only young. If you want them to get the point, it’s best to speak to them directly in a non-complicated manner. Try saying something like, “so what do you want?” when they reply, teach them how to phrase their question in a more successful way. Some parents like to learn on the job, but you can also enroll in clinical mental health counseling masters online course. Expert teaching will help when times are tough.

Be Firm Yet Fair

It’s easy to get angry when confronting someone. With kids, there’s a delicate balance between giving in and proving a point. You don’t want to apologize straight away because it’s a sign of weakness, but you can’t stay mad for days either. After calling them out, give them time to cool down. After a short while, walk them through why you got mad. Once they understand, they should stop trying to guilt trip you in the future to spare your feelings.

Are you ready to deal with a guilt-tripping child?

Disclosure: This is a contributed post.

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