backup og meta

Manipulative Teenagers: How and Why Your Teens Manipulate You?

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jul 29, 2022

Manipulative Teenagers: How and Why Your Teens Manipulate You?

Teenagers know how to manipulate their parents to get their work done. Health experts believe children learn to manipulate even before they start learning to talk or walk. From that very moment, they come up with numerous ways to attract an audience around them, especially their parents. But why do children use manipulation as their weapon? What are the effective ways to deal with manipulative teenagers? Read to know!

Why Do Teenagers Manipulate Their Parents?

According to psychologists, there are numerous reasons why teens manipulate their parents. Mostly, they try to grab their parent’s attention and garner love to hide or cover their mistakes, to get something or prevent a scolding from their parents. And the best part is, it works!

Doctors believe that it’s in a teenager’s nature to understand the consequences of their actions and try various ways to get their desired response.

Several health experts also believe that parents, sometimes, are unaware of their own actions that lead to such behavior in their teenage child. This may result in teen-parent conflicts.

So, how to find if your child is trying to manipulate? Below are the common manipulation patterns children use on their parents.

Manipulative Teenagers: What They Commonly Do


As for kids who are often hard to approach or have problems getting approval from their parents, they may try to soften their mom and dad’s hearts by expressing excessive love, affection or pleasing. To parents who often have problems approaching their kids, they are very likely to fall for the trick.


If children get rejected by their parents, they may express feelings of being offended or injured. Also, they may make their parents feel like they are doing their children wrong.


Parents who often dote on their kids on a regular basis may be taken advantage of this. Kids may attack this soft spot in their parents’ characters whenever they don’t get what they want. The loving parents who are afraid that their children may regard them as a failure would easily fulfill their needs.


This is the case of parents who are often afraid of guilt. The kids may pretend to be hurt, sad or unhappy to make their parents guilty.


Teens may pretend to be resigned or desperate so that the parents who are sensitive to pity will feel sorry for them.


Mothers or fathers who are afraid of abandonment in relationships may be fooled by their children. Teens may act as if the relationship with their parents does not matter anymore or as if they mean nothing.


Manipulative teenagers may go to such extent as pretending to lose their minds or act as if they’re showing signs of unstable mental condition so that their parents will be cautious to approach them and play along with their commands. In some cases, they may even initiate harmful threats.

How to Deal With Manipulative Teenagers?

To turn off these kinds of manipulations, parents must be determined and more importantly consistent. This means they should refuse to play along with their teen’s tricks. After all, you still hold control over their behavior. So if you state clearly that you will not be softened under any circumstances, they will stop their manipulation. 

You should not be susceptible to feelings of being hated or abandoned or let outer feelings affect your decisions. Parents who do not give in to their kids’ manipulation are not those who are cold-hearted but simply responsible and sensible enough to consider what is right and good for their kids.

As a parent, it is difficult sometimes to say ‘no’ to your children, especially when they are in their teenage years. On the other hand, teenagers are smart and know how to get their work done. So, it is essential that you identify when your child is trying to manipulate you. Prevent yourself from those manipulative tricks to avoid bigger issues and complications. 

You can always interact with your child and solve their problems, but, when it comes to manipulative teenagers, you have to be a little strict. However, make sure you are not too hard on them.

Learn more about Adolescent Mental Health here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jul 29, 2022

advertisement iconadvertisement

Was this article helpful?

advertisement iconadvertisement
advertisement iconadvertisement