Sample Pages of Relief
Avoiding manipulation
(Page 40)
C H A P T E R 5


Tower of Conviction 6: We refuse to be conned by our child.

Do not cooperate with disgraceful intimidations and manipulations. I use the word disgraceful on purpose; a teenager can take the gracefulness out of parenthood by insulting parents with con jobs.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, one meaning of manipulation is "to manage shrewdly or deviously." In our context, it would mean that teenagers are managing their parents shrewdly or deviously. Parents must refuse to be managed this way.
I asked the participants in our parent support group, Parenting Within Reason, how their kids have tried to manipulate them. Here's the list they compiled.

Manipulative children try to get what they want by...

throwing tantrums
boycotting parents or families
cursing parents
criticizing parents to other adults
threatening to call Children's Protective Services

They make statements like...

  • "You don't trust me!"
  • "Everybody's doing it!"
  • "You don't love me!"
  • "I'm going to end up hating you!"
  • "You're too strict!"
  • "You're too old-fashioned!"


Other topics in this chapter include...

Refuse to cooperate with kids doing absurd things.
Never issue negative challenges.
Tower of Conviction 7.
How to cause your teen's tools of manipulation
and intimidation to bring an undesired outcome for him or her.
How to use Towers of Conviction 6 and 7 to cope
with the problem of lying.

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