Manipulative Parents: Signs, Effects, And Protection

Manipulative Parents: Signs, Effects, And Protection

What Is Manipulative Parenting?

What Is Manipulative Parenting?

Parents can be manipulative. They want what is best for their child, and will do anything to ensure that they get it even if it means lying, omitting the truth, choosing a path that is not in the best interest of their children. The interesting thing about these parents is how they don’t see themselves as bad people and often feel justified in what they are doing to their children.

Manipulative parenting is a form of parenting where the parent uses tactics to get what they want from their child. This can include but is not limited to lying, withholding information, guilt-tripping, and using children as pawns in a power struggle. Parents who use these tactics often do not see themselves as bad people and often feel justified in what they are doing even if it is detrimental to their child’s development.

Signs Of Manipulative Parents

Signs Of Manipulative ParentsManipulative parents often exhibit specific behaviors that can be easily recognized. If you are worried that your parent may be manipulating you, look out for the following signs:

  • Your parent frequently lies to you, even when there is no need to.
  • They withhold information from you, especially information that is relevant to your life.
  • They use guilt trips to get what they want from you.
  • Your parents try to control your every move.
  • They make decisions for you without your consent or input.
  • They use you as a pawn in their power struggle with other family members.

How Does Manipulation Affect the Child’s Development?

When children are being manipulated by their parents it can have a serious effect on their overall development. One of the ways this might manifest is in the child feeling bad about themselves. They may come to feel that they are not worthy or don’t deserve love just because they didn’t do what their parent wanted them to do. The manipulation tactic often drives a wedge between the child and their parent, which isn’t good for the relationship either. The child may turn to other adults for guidance instead of looking to their parents because they no longer have faith in what their parents are saying.

The effects of manipulative parenting can be devastating and long-lasting.

How Does Manipulation Affect the Child's Development?

The child may develop-

They may feel the need to be hyper-vigilant in order to detect manipulation and not fall, victim.

Affect Child’s Sense Of Worth

When children are being manipulated they often feel bad about themselves. This can make them avoid their parent or even seek out other adults who are outside of the family to get advice. These feelings arise due to guilt and shame tactics used by parents. These feelings of self-consciousness about not doing what their parent wants them to do can stay with children long after they grow up and leave home.

Drives a Wedge Between Parent and Child

Some parents use manipulation as a means of getting what they want from their children. They might withhold information or make a child feel bad about themselves in order to get them to do something. Rather than solve problems, they cause them and create more resentment between the parent and the child which can lead to a lack of closeness as the child gets older and becomes more independent.

Tips For Protecting Yourself From Manipulative Parents

Tips For Protecting Yourself From Manipulative Parents

Even though manipulating parents are good at putting on a show of being kind and helpful, there are some effective methods that a child can use to protect themselves from manipulative parenting.

  • Be wary of making decisions about your life before knowing all of the information. Your parent may withhold some very important details or only tell you one side of the story, so try to get both sides of the story before deciding how you feel. This is especially important if there is something you might not be able to change or influence, like who your parents are or what religion you are brought up in.
  • Don’t feel guilty for saying no to your parent. Even if they guilt trip you, it is important that you stick to your boundaries and don’t let them manipulate you into doing things that you do not want to do.
  • Trust your gut feeling. If you get a bad feeling from what they are asking you to do or how they expect you to behave, trust that and don’t listen to them when they try to change your mind.
  • Do not let them trick you into thinking that there is something wrong with you if you want different things. Being different is not a bad thing.
  • Remember that although they are your parents, they don’t always have your best interest in mind. Their goals might be different from yours and it’s okay for them to have different goals.

Professional Help For Dealing With Manipulative Parent

Professional Help For Dealing With Manipulative Parent

If you feel like you are struggling with a manipulative parent, you can seek out therapy or counseling to talk about your concerns. It is important to remember that even though they might be difficult to deal with, they are still your parents and you shouldn’t cut them out of your life completely.

Children who are being manipulated by their parents should do their best to make sure that they are not manipulated. This can be difficult if the parent is using guilt or shame because this tactic provokes children into doing what the parents want. They should try their best not to fall prey to these manipulation tactics and keep themselves out of situations where they might feel bad about themselves. For example, they shouldn’t do things they don’t want to do or say yes when really they want to say no. They should also find an adult they trust who is outside of their family that they can go to for advice on what to do in any given situation where they might feel like complying with the parent’s wishes is best.

Why Do Parents Resort to Manipulation?

There can be any number of reasons why a parent might resort to manipulation tactics.

  • They may feel like they are at their wit’s end and don’t know how else to get their child to do what they want.
  • Parents may feel like they are constantly being challenged by their children and resort to tactics to get them back in line.
  • They may be angry or resentful about something and take it out on their children through manipulation tactics.

There are so many possibilities as to why parents might manipulate their children that it’s impossible to pinpoint an accurate central reason for this behavior.

How Can Manipulative Parents Change Their Ways?

How Can Manipulative Parents Change Their Ways?

If parents want to make changes to their manipulative behavior, they should start by looking at the reasons why they are behaving this way. When they find themselves resorting to manipulation tactics, it may be because of anger or resentment that comes up over certain issues.

  • They should try to focus on the feelings that are coming up and not act on them by manipulating their child. Instead, they should try to express their feelings in a more appropriate way.
  • Parents who recognize when they are behaving this way can make changes like writing down what’s bothering them or talking to someone about how they feel.
  • Parents should seek to understand their own motives for manipulation and try to use a different coping strategy that doesn’t involve making someone else feel bad about themselves.
  • They can make changes to their manipulative behavior by recognizing when they use these tactics and becoming more mindful of what’s going on inside, rather than focusing on the other person as the problem.
  • Manipulative behavior often has different motives behind it like anger or resentment, and when parents recognize this they can try to manage these feelings in different ways rather than resorting to manipulation.
  • Parents who attempt to make changes by becoming more mindful of what’s going on inside themselves instead of putting the focus on others are often able to deal with their emotions in a healthier way.
  • When parents recognize what’s going on inside themselves instead of focusing on others they are often able to deal with emotions in a more healthy way.
  • Parents need to recognize when they are feeling angry or resentful so that they can keep these emotions in check instead of trying to manipulate their children with guilt and shame.

What A Victim Of Manipulative Parenting Should Do?

What A Victim Of Manipulative Parenting Should Do?

If you are a victim of manipulative parenting, there are steps that you can take to help yourself.

  • The first step is to recognize when your parent is being manipulative. This can be difficult, especially if you have been used to this behavior for a long time.
  • Once you have recognized the manipulation, try to distance yourself from the situation. This might mean that you avoid your parent or talk to someone else about what is going on.
  • You should also try to express your feelings in a healthy way, rather than keeping them bottled up. Finally, make sure that you take care of yourself both physically and emotionally.
  • Second, be honest with yourself about the situation and what’s happening. And third, talk to a therapist or counselor about what’s going on and how you’re feeling. If you feel like your parents are not listening to you or that they’re always making excuses for bad behavior, then it’s quite likely that you’re a victim of manipulative parenting.

If you are being manipulated by your parents, it is important to remember that you should never allow yourself to be put down or treated poorly. Even if they try to convince you otherwise, there will always be other people in the world who think that you are special and amazing just the way you are.

Someone You Should Talk To-

  • Your parent’s friends
  • Other family members (especially if they don’t get along with your parent)
  • Therapist or counselor
  • Friends and family members who you trust to give you a different perspective

How Can You Help A Victim Of Manipulative Parents?

If you know someone who is a victim of manipulative parents, there are ways that you can help. The most important thing is to be supportive and understanding. Let the person know that you are there for them, and don’t judge them or make them feel bad about themselves.

  • You can also help by providing a listening ear and by reminding the person that they are not alone. If the victim feels like they are ready, you can also encourage them to talk to a therapist or counselor. Finally, try to provide some practical support, like helping the person with errands or chores.
  • The most important thing to do when you know someone who is a victim of manipulative parenting is to be supportive and accepting while at the same time not making them feel like it’s their fault or that they should keep their feelings bottled up inside.
  • You can offer practical help like help with errands or chores, provide a listening ear, and remind the person that they are not alone. If you feel like your parents are making excuses for bad behavior or you think they don’t listen to you when you try to talk about things, it might be time to seek help from a therapist or counselor.


Do you have manipulative parents? If so, what are they doing to manipulate your thoughts and emotions? What strategies do you use when dealing with them? Let us know in the comments below. It is important for all of us to be able to recognize manipulation tactics so that we can protect our emotional well-being. We also hope this article has helped you gain insight into how a parent’s behavior may influence their child’s decision-making ability.

For more information, please contact MantraCare. Parenting is a challenging yet rewarding experience that is crucial for the development and well-being of a child. If you have any queries regarding Online Parenting Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial therapy session

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