Can children manipulate their parents?

I do not agree with this statement:

Children are manipulative.

Ok, let’s define ‘children’. In my current state, children mean preschoolers or younger.

I do not believe that their (my children’s) actions should be labeled as manipulative.

Sure, it may APPEAR that way sometimes, when they push our every button. But it’s not manipulation. Not the kind of manipulation you witness by watching TV shows like, oh, I don’t know, Gossip Girl. Or Y&R.

* * *

Last night there was an incident with one of the kids that left both DH and I exhausted. We almost gave in. Almost caved, to the child’s demands, requests, pleads.

There was the most heartbreaking sobbing, crying, pleading, demanding, freaking out.

But we stayed firm.

And the turn of events was actually quite dramatic, leaving me to realize after everyone was finally quiet and sleeping, that I, that WE, did the right thing by not caving.

Which does not mean that caving to a child’s demands is bad parenting. Because it happens to the best of us.

It’s part of parenting, in my book.

Go ahead, judge me all you want. I’m STILL a good parent when I give in or cave to them. I am the best parent my kids can have. We both are.

But last night proved something. Something important.  And opened the door to more enlightening conversations with those two little rascals.

There is more social awareness. There is talk of hunger, REAL hunger, not perceived hunger that can be satisfied by ignoring a parent’s rule.

Today I feel empowered. Empowered to bring, and keep those kids, on the right track.

Bring it on!

(hope I didn’t jinx it now)

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