Powerless when refused what they want by a parent, they may signify displeasure by communicating disappointment, hurt, or outrage. Just stop making such a fuss! It can be used to get his way.
In fact, one psychologist, John Narciso see his book "Declare Yourself," called this category of behaviors "get my way techniques. In one of my early books, "Keys to Single Parenting " I called it "emotional extortion. During adolescence , when getting freedom from parents becomes increasingly important, manipulation of parental authority through lying , pretense, and pressuring becomes more common. Emotional extortion can combine all three. Thus when pleading and argument fail to win a parent over or back a parent down, the tactics of emotional extortion can come into play.
The particular emotions exploited vary according to the emotional susceptibility of the parents, but the objective is always the same - to get parents to give in or change their mind. Remember, from closely observing these adults who have so much power over their lives, children know their parents far better than parents know their children. Children, and particularly adolescents, are expert in the "pushing the buttons" of emotional susceptibility in parents, often using this knowledge in conflict to win their ways.
Consider a few of the forms emotional extortion can take. If a parent is sensitive to approval, then the teenager will express LOVE through appreciation, affection, or pleasing to soften the mother or father up. This emotional extortion works when the parent feels, "How can I refuse when my teenager, who is usually so hard to get along with, is now acting so nice?
This emotional extortion works when the parent feels, "I can't stand it when my teenager acts like she doesn't like me. This emotional extortion works when the parent feels, "I can't stand being judged a failure in my teenager's eyes. This emotional extortion works when the parent feels, "I can't stand feeling responsible for my teenager's unhappiness.
This emotional extortion works when the parent feels, "I can't stand feeling sorry for my teenager when she just gives up and acts victimized by whatever decision I've made. This emotional extortion works when the parent feels, "I can't stand the loneliness when my child acts like there's no caring for our relationship. This emotional extortion works when the parent feels, "I can't stand being frightened of getting hurt. After all, your adolesent cannot emotionally manipulate you without your permision.
You must resist your own susceptibilities to rejection, guilt, intimidation and the like and refuse to let these emotional vulnerabilities influence your decisions. Give in to these tactics, and you will feel badly about yourself, your teenager, and your relationship, and more important may reluctantly allow what you know is unwise that could cause your adolescent to come to harm.
I didn't want to. Thus when the teenager uses intense anger or suffering to overcome a parental refusal, the parent needs to be able to say and mean: However, if you want to tell me specifically about why you are feeling so upset, I certainly want to listen to what you have to say. At worst, when feelings are expressed for extortionate effect, then the authentic value of those feelings can become corrupted.
For example, the tired parent comes home at the end of the day and the teenager, genuinely wanting to express her love through an act of consideration, has the evening meal all prepared. But the parent, having been softened up by such acts before, is unwilling to act appreciative.
Instead, he responds by asking a cynical question: Of course, just as the adolescent first learned the power of emotional extortion in childhood , so did you. Therefore, as parents do not resort to this manipulation with your teenager. Declare what you want or do not want to have happen in specific terms, then discuss and negotiate the disagreement.
Do not use the strong expression of emotion to get your way, or you will encourage that extortion from your teenager by your own bad example. Adolescence and the loss of childhood.