Getting Manipulated -Reasoning and Negotiating Everything

Children and teens love to ensnare parents by getting them to justify and negotiate every family rule and routine, over and over. What an ambush!

In this trap parents are pulled into justifying and negotiating everything. They’re lured into feeling they need to answer to their children for all their standards, schedules, and family customs.

Parents in some of our California Parenting Partners teams told us that their children in elementary school told them that “In America children have privacy rights – so you can’t look in my backpack or talk to my teacher.” In these communities families were facing tremendous pressures around immigration, so the children were having some success in selling this tall tale. When we told parents that their kids were just trying to fool them, they were relieved.


Standing Your Ground: Because you’re the Parent

In navigating the jungle, you have to find the high ground and hold it. This tool empowers parents with the confidence to simply and effortlessly stand their ground.

Parents can develop family rules and routines that include the parents’ own preferences and personalities. They don’t need to negotiate away their own needs and boundaries, or feel guilty about valuing their own personality. When we respect ourselves and teach our children to respect us, we’re giving them the essentials for their social and moral development.

Workshop four of Parenting Partners equips parents to recognize how they get pulled into this trap with “The Argument Trap in 4.1 and “The Erupting Volcano” on page 4.3 in the Parenting Partners Workbook.


What gets in the way of successful study routines? The Argument Trap!

Parents start out with the best of intentions—they may even have a chart of study routines on the frig. But then they get worn down by reasoning and arguments until study time is lost.

When parents stand their ground with their clear instructions and family routines, it empowers them to put study routines into practice, such as “The Parent Pledge for Academic Success.”

Parents feel more confident when they stop getting manipulated by arguments. They then get more engaged with their young people’s lives and academic life, building Asset #6 Parent Involvement in Schooling.


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