5 tips to avoid your child emotionally blackmailing you
Does your child use emotional blackmail to get everything they want? Do they, for example, burst into tears if you refuse to give them a second piece of candy? Always remember the key rule: don’t succumb to blackmail.
How to deal with your child’s emotional blackmail
1 Distinguish between need and blackmail
- Before they turn one, your child cries or makes noises to get their basic needs, like food, sleep or affection.
- However, between month 18 and year 2, they learn to communicate. This way, they can express their desires and somehow blackmail you into providing them. For example, they may do some moves that they know will make you laugh or get you angry.
2 Stick to rules
- Remember that succumbing once to your child’s blackmail will make them resort to it all the time.
- To avoid this, set some rules from the beginning and insist that they follow them. These could include food, outings and visits, clothes, bath and bed times, …
- However, if for once you were tired and succumbed to their blackmail, try to set things right the following times.
3 Not blackmailing
Your child learns a lot from you, of course. So watch out and don’t resort to emotional blackmail yourself when dealing with them. For example, don’t say: “If you help me tidy up your room I’ll let you watch TV”.
4 Coordinate with dad
– If you set some rules of conduct and life for your child, let your husband know them and coordinate with him so he can make sure to apply them as well.
– Without this coordination, your child could take advantage of the situation. They may resort to their father and emotionally blackmail them to get what they want.
5 Think of the child’s interest
- You may feel guilty if you refuse to succumb to your child’s emotional blackmail. However, you should think that this is mostly for their benefit.
- Before accepting or rejecting their request, go over its pros and cons and decide which is higher.
- Take your decision based on the result you reach and the situation your child is experiencing. If you usually refuse that they eat a second piece of candy because it’s harmful for their teeth and health, you can let them break this rule if they’re attending their friend’s birthday.
- Never forget that life will not offer them everything they want later on. So train them to accept that at an early age.