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7 Steps to Deal With a Lying Manipulative Child

by Lily Morgen
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Lying Manipulative Child

As a parent, are you manipulated by your lying child? From the behavior of manipulation and lying, a child can get whatever they want from you or avoid your punishment.

This may seem like a challenging situation to handle, but you know you need to deal with your children’s cheating and manipulation behavior before they turn into a teenager.

Here are 7 steps for dealing with a lying and manipulative child.

1. Figure Out Why Your Child Act Lying and Manipulation

The first step in dealing with a lying manipulative child is to figure out why they’re engaging in the behavior. Finding out the root cause can help you address the problem and come up with an effective solution.

There are many reasons why your child may cheat or manipulate. For example, your child may need to buy new toys/clothes, not do homework, face upsetting situations, or feel overwhelmed by a certain task.

Therefore, your child may display he/she is not in good health, begging you, sad or other ways in his behavior, in order to make you soft and then get what he/she wants from you.

It is a more understandable way to get what they want than directly speaking to you ask what they want. If they succeed and taste the sweetness the first time, they will tend to do it next time. Then you’re manipulated.

2. Set Realistic Expectations On Your Child

Nobody likes hearing “no” when they ask for something, especially a kid. Do you remember when you were a kid and you wanted something from your parents? But their answer was “No” every time?

You can imagine that your child has to lie and manipulate you because they think it is the best way to get what they want. Otherwise, they think you’ll definitely say “No” because of their unreasonable demands.

Their behavior is understandable, and it is recommended to set realistic expectations on your child before dealing with your kid’s lying and manipulation.

Meanwhile, you need to be clear about what you can and cannot provide. Also, don’t react by saying “No” immediately, communicate with your child in a kind way, respond “no” calmly and explain why your child cannot get what they want.

If you say “no” calmly and provide solid reasons why “no” every time. Over time, you will exhaust your child, and get rid of their lying and manipulation.

3. Let Your Child Calm Down

Although after you explain reasons for saying “no”, your child may still try to find a way to change your words from “No” to “Yes”. 

You’d better give up trying to persuade your child to agree with you as it seems you’re wasting your time. Let them alone, calm down, and re-think themself.

4. Be Firm but Stay Calm

Some children think that if he tries many times, you would finally agree to their request. Don’t fall into it again, and be firm with your words ”NO”. 

In this case, don’t let them drag on or give in as they might think that if he insists long enough, he can get what he wants from you by manipulation and lying. Therefore, keep your words ”NO” and don’t let them drag on.

It is easy to get frustrated and angry when your child behaves like that. However, don’t let your anger take over you. Stay calm and keep your patience.

5. Stop Negotiation 

The child should respect what you say and when you say it because you are the parents. If it turns out that your child still keeps trying to persuade you of saying “Yes”. It’s time for you to stop the negotiation.

6. Hold Them Accountable for Their Behaviors & Actions

When your child misbehaves or goes too far in their manipulation, you can hold them accountable for their lying and manipulation.

Let them know that you are aware of their manipulative behaviors and lying. Make him realize that it will not work even if he keeps trying.

You can set up a consequence or punishment to let your kid know that they need to take responsibility for their bad behaviors and actions. For example, if your child lies to you, then refuse some privileges or cancel activities that they are looking forward to.

Be consistent with the consequence/punishment and make sure your child understands that it is their own fault.

Holding your children accountable for bad behavior teaches them that such behavior is unacceptable, and they’ll think twice before lying and manipulating.

7. See a Child Psychologist

If the problem is still not solved, or your child’s lying and manipulating behavior is getting worse, it might be time to seek professional help. Talking to a mental health expert can be beneficial for both you and your child.

By seeking the help of a child psychologist, you can understand what may be causing your child to act this way. Meanwhile, you can develop an individualized plan that’s tailored to your child’s lying and manipulation.

Final Thought

Dealing with a lying and manipulative child isn’t easy. It requires patience, understanding, and firmness. As children have different personalities and temperaments, so there is no one size fits all solution.

Keep in mind that your goal should be to help your child learn how to express their feelings in an appropriate way. Be patient and stay calm when it comes to dealing with these issues.

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