The Manipulative Parent

ABOVE : 2 Minute Video – Characteristics of the Manipulative Parent.

There are many ways in which the manipulative parent may manipulate their offspring, including:

  1. emotional blackmail
  2.  verbal aggression
  3. implicit or explicit threats
  4. deceit
  5. use of the silent treatment’
  6. control through money or material goods
  7. positive reinforcement of a behavior which is damaging to the child
  8. coercion
  9. behaving in a passive-aggressive manner
  10. projection
  11. denial of obviously destructive behavior
  12. gaslighting
  13. causing the child to believe that s/he will only be loved by complying with the parent’s wishes at all times; in other words, there is an ABSENCE of unconditional love (indeed, some parents are emotionally ill-equipped to love their children).
  14. causing the child to feel excessive guilt and ashamed for failing to live up to the parent’s expectations and demands.
  15. with-holding love as a form of punishment to cause emotional distress
  16. direct or implied threats of physical punishment
  17. making the child feel s/he is intrinsically bad for not always bending to the parent’s will
  18. Financial manipulation. Some parents may manipulate their child using money for a whole host of reasons, including spoiling the child and then accusing him of ingratitude ;  as a tacit way of keeping the child quiet about abuse ; to compensate the child for emotional neglect and ameliorate feelings of guilt ; to make the child feel indebted ; to increase the child’s dependence ; to induce feelings of guilt in the child either explicitly or implicitly ; as a tool to regulate the child’s behavior ; as an expression of the parent’s superiority and contempt for the child ; as a superficial way of acting ‘the good parent.’
  19. making the child believe he is uncaring for not fully meeting the parent’s needs

Such parents may also be very controlling ; if our parents were overly controlling the characteristics they may have displayed include the following :

  1. Did not show respect for, or value, our reasonable ideas and opinions
  2. Imposed over-exacting demands on us and refused to listen to even the most reasonable and considered objections
  3. Were preoccupied with criticizing us, whilst minimizing or ignoring our good points
  4. Were excessively concerned about our table manners (for example, failing to hold a knife and fork correctly)
  5. Were excessively rigid about what we eat
  6. Discouraged us from developing independence of thought, especially if it led to a mismatch between our opinions, views and values and those of the parent
  7. Imposed excessive demands on us regarding household rules, duties and regulations which we were not permitted negotiate even if any reasonable person would regard them as inappropriate
  8. Never admit to being in the wrong, even in very clear-cut circumstances
  9. Were excessively and unreasonably controlling regarding our appearance; not respecting our wishes to express our individuality (for example, choosing all our clothes without any interest in our opinion about them).
  10. Did not respect our choice of career and made demands on us to reconsider and instead pursue a career the parent regarded as more suitable even when this would make us very unhappy.
  11. Expected us to reach standards which were impossible to attain and berated us when we inevitably, in their eyes, failed.
  12. Did not allow us to voice reasonable objections (for example, about the family dynamics and how they caused us unhappiness).
  13. Were unnecessarily rigid regarding who we ‘ought’ to associate with in a way that reflected prejudice and discrimination against individuals we wished to associate with
  14. Tried to make us suppress perfectly normal emotions such as anger, fear and unhappiness.
  15. Violated our privacy (for example, searched our bedroom for our personal diary without a good cause).
  16. Tried to control us with emotional blackmail, psychological manipulation, intimidation and threats.

Whilst some parental attempts to manipulate and control are fairly blatant, as can be seen from the above examples, some are far mote subtle. This means that when we were young we may not have been aware that we were being manipulated; we may only come to realize it, in retrospect, with the extra knowledge we have gained as adults.

Recover from a Manipulative Relationship | Self Hypnosis Downloads

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

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About David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

Psychologist, researcher and educationalist.

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