What Is A Manipulative Parent. A manipulative parent is one who uses various tactics to control, exploit, or influence their children to get what they want or serve their own needs, often at the expense of their child's well-being1.
Parental manipulation may take the form of, for example: Bad-mouthing the other parent in front of the kids. Enlisting the children to send messages or requests to the other parent. Lying to the kids to make the other parent look bad.
On top of relationship struggles, many people who have dealt with parental manipulation experience low self-esteem, resentment and anger, self-doubt, shame or guilt, and a deep/painful sense of having been betrayed.
Make up or distort facts about the other parent, especially relating to the divorce, and share inappropriately adult matters with the child; Use the child as a spy; Use the child as a messenger; Threaten self harm if the other parent or the child does not give into their demands.
Signs of a Manipulative and Narcissistic Parent
They are controlling and possessive and tend to compete with their children. Manipulative parents see their kids' independence as a threat, shower children with unreasonable expectations, and make you walk on eggshells around their sensitivities.
What is Malicious Parent Syndrome? Malicious Parent Syndrome (MPS) is a type of vengeful behavior exhibited by some divorcing or separated parents. It occurs when a parent deliberately tries to place the other bad parent in a bad light and harm their child's relationship with them.
What Are Toxic Parents? Toxic parents create a negative and toxic home environment. They use fear, guilt, and humiliation as tools to get what they want and ensure compliance from their children. They are often neglectful, emotionally unavailable, and abusive in some cases.
Common examples include passive aggression, silent treatment, guilt-tripping, blame-shifting, gaslighting, denial, and lying. Other tactics include codependency through trauma bonding, playing on people's insecurities, withholding sex, instilling fear, or threatening to harm themselves.
Personal gaslighting, whereby a parent undermines a child's sense of his or her own capacity or trust in him- or herself. “This is often the most insidious form because it manipulates you to think that what you know about yourself is not true,” Malkin says. “It also undermines your self-esteem and trust in yourself.”
This begins between the ages of 3-6 years, and during this time, children learn how to get their needs met while considering what other people need as well. Although they are small, children find power in many ways.
A narcissistic mother may feel entitled or self-important, seek admiration from others, believe she is above others, lack empathy, exploit her children, put others down, experience hypersensitivity to criticism, believe she deserves special treatment, and worst of all, maybe naïve to the damage she is causing.
A mother with narcissistic personality disorder cannot give their children adequate attention and nurturing. Their entitlement often results in them mistreating their children. Additionally, a narcissistic mother will tend to use her children as a prop or device to meet her own needs.
Emotional abuse includes: humiliating or constantly criticising a child. threatening, shouting at a child or calling them names. making the child the subject of jokes, or using sarcasm to hurt a child.
Psychologists say the root cause of manipulative behavior can often be toxic cycles of violence, narcissism, or unhealthy relationships in the manipulator's own childhood. Manipulation can happen in any relational context, Balestrieri says, including family, friends, professional, romantic, or sexual relationships.
If a child has difficulties with manipulation they might: Use both hands for activities that usually only require one (e.g. cutting or block building). Stabilise objects against their body or an external support (e.g. a table) to complete tasks rather than using the 'helping' hand to stabilise the object.
Factor analyses of four instruments revealed six types of tactics: charm, silent treatment, coercion, reason, regression, and debasement. Tactics of manipulation showed strong individual difference consistency across contexts.
Manipulation can come in many forms, but the main goal of all types is likely a sense of power, control, or resources. Some common manipulation tactics may include: coercive control: taking charge of your schedule, money, or connections. changing the rules: making the “finish line” harder and harder to achieve.