Most people hear about teens bullying other teens. But what happens when teens begin bullying their own parents? And why does this happen? If you have a manipulative teen on your hands, defending yourself can be rough at times. A manipulative teen can make you feel helpless and insecure about your parenting skills overall. Why should your teen be capable of bullying you? YOU are the parent after all!

Why do teens bully their parents?

Often, children who bully their parents believe their parents will put up with whatever behavior they throw their parents’ way. This is usually due to parents being too accommodating and permissive to their children’s’ behavior. manipulative teen

Why is this permissive behavior occurring? Some say it’s because the troubled childhoods parents had are coming back to haunt them.  One reason, according to Sean Grover LCSW, author of When Kids Call the Shots, parents are trying to rebel against the way they were raised by their own parents.

According to Grover, many parents who are bullied by their own children were once upon a time bullied by their own parents. Their own parents’ strict, harsh authoritarian parenting style inspired them to tell themselves that they would never treat their children the way their parents treated them. However, by giving teens too much freedom you may be allowing them to continue manipulative teen behaviors that should not be put up with.

Stopping manipulative teen behavior

Manipulative teen behavior can be a hard thing to crack down on. After all, they are your child and you want them to have all the happiness in the world. However, sometimes it is important to say “enough is enough” and lay down the law. Here are some ways to crack down on manipulative teen behavior and stop the bullying once and for all!

  1. Consistent consequences for behaviors: Every time your child tries to pull manipulative behaviors over you (lying, emotional retaliation, revenge, etc.), you must enforce consistent consequences. Sit down with your teen and write up a consensual contract that details house rule and consequences. If your child breaks those rules, they will have to face the consequences set down in that document. If consequences are not followed through, they are meaningless. So stick to them!
  2. Honesty is key: Most teens can tell when they are being lied to; they aren’t dumb. Creating an environment full of honesty and trust helps prevent manipulative behaviors. In an honest household, there is no room for manipulation.
  3. Pause arguments to think: During fights with your child, it’s hard to think straight. You might say something you’ll regret. That’s why it’s important to pause the battle with your child and tell them you need to time to think about their behavior.  You can then come back with a clear head and come up with an appropriate response to whatever you were arguing about.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teens ages 14-17, can help your struggling daughter find success.

For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058.