As we have been talking about in our previous blog, blackmail is a complex issue that has many branches.
Another type of blackmail is that of children towards their parents. This undoubtedly has to do with the teaching of parents towards their children, how to do it, but also the new generation of parents is afraid of their children, of traumatizing them or they simply do not want to repeat what they lived with their parents, who allow their children to do whatever they want, turning them into bigger blackmailers than they are.
This blackmail is vice versa, children from a very young age are learning to blackmail their parents to get what they want, a fact that is also as common as the previous one. If children begin to do this blackmail from a young age, it is very likely that as they grow they will continue to do it and with much more frequency.
I know the case of a client who is afraid of her two-year-old son and when the child gets out of control she (the mother) runs off to hide in the bathroom, the only place where she feels protected. This is a perfect example of the loss of control and the fear developed towards the children generated by the parenting of which the mother was a victim and the fear of repeating the parenting style and hurting her daughter.
When in a family educational system the dynamic of action is through blackmail, the relationship between parents and children is already conflictive. We see it very often, for example, in parks with small children, that the parents tell them to go home, and the child begins to cry to which the father responds, “do you want an ice cream so that you stop crying?” and others. Also, to fulfill their responsibilities, they say, “if you do what you have to do, I’ll give you the computer for a while!” Perhaps it is not “their turn”, their reward should be in the gratification that comes from the act itself, for example, the gratification of doing their bed, it is finding it stretched out and having an organized room, this in itself should not have extra reward. Or doing homework, the reward is in learning, we don’t have to blackmail our children with a gift for doing what they should do.
These types of behaviors are already blackmail themselves, this is how this harmful and conflictive form of communication is learned, which does not allow us to create autonomy, self-control and responsibility, turns the relationship between parents and children into a mercantilist one based on a material reward to achieve what that is desired.
We have become a guilty generation that allows children to do what they want without knowing the harm we do to them and already reaping the fruits of the little tyrants that we are creating. I do not mean that I agree with the abuse, blackmail, punishment or violence in general of which many of us were victims as “the way to educate”. Nor do I agree with those who laugh and defend “la chancleta” as the way to make the other obey, because I repeat, violence is not the way. I rather believe in a clear and balanced relationship in which respect is the center regardless of age.
All the ways previously described lead to the impoverishment of family life, given by the reduction of communication to false promises that always end up not complying with things such as “I will behave better, but in exchange for …” This has reached a stage where children “sell” and parents “buy.”
This manipulation by the children is the other type of violence, whether physical or psychological, in this case, from children to parents. When parents feel an accumulation of negative emotions, they are blackmailed by their children, leading them to give in to their wishes because otherwise they cannot keep calm.
In fact, parents who are blackmailed are not able to recognize and accept it because they confuse their guilt, fear, anxiety, frustration with mistakes in decisions made. In the end they only see a dead end.
To identify this type of blackmail, we leave you here 4 main methods that children tend to use to manipulate their parents:
1. Pretend to feel victim of a situation
2. Makes you guilty of a situation
3. They put on shows to get your attention and achieve their purposes
4. Yelling and mistreatment, physical violence. A very common one is “I hate you”, that enters like a dagger in the heart of the parents and from there they give in, looking to win the love of their children.
If you are experiencing such a situation with your children, we suggest that you take these steps:
1. Put limits
2. Be an example
3. Keep calm
4. Learn to say NO every time a tantrum occurs
When a family finds themselves in a situation like this, they should seek help to mediate, change the family education style, so call us, we are ready to serve you.