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My 11 year old son is manipulating me

My almost 11yo son is starting to get really pushy with me this summer. He lives with his dad and stepmom and has always been a pretty thoughtful and sensitive kid. This past month he has been starting arguments with me over things he wants- repeating them over and over and progressing with "i want to go home" "you don't love me" "if you don't let me do (this)I will mess up (that)". He gets louder and speaks in a commanding voice that kind of scares me. I have no clue how to even respond to this. I have told him that I won't discuss anything with him when he acts this way and I've told him he can't get what he wants this way. I know he doesn't act this way at home. He seems fearful of his dad/stepmom and says he is "grounded" pretty much all the time. I need some advice. We have always had a good relationship until now.


Asked by ranedare at 1:48 PM on Jul. 15, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 3 (19 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • Really just ask him what hes angry about. Sit down and ask whats wrong? Ask him if you hurt him. Let him yell a little, do not put up with violence, but stand up strait and listen as if you were talking to an adult, not a child. And REALLY listen. He is his own person and has his own personality and past pain. Sounds like he has a beef with you, probabely because you havent been what he wanted you to be. After listening to him, give your imput, your due apologies, make a deal with him if need be. If he goes off and leaves, let him. He'll come back more cooled off. Kids need two tings at this point in life, space and understanding.

    Answer by Hollytree at 4:02 PM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • You've got to stay firm. Put yourself at his eye level and tell him that you know that he is upset and that if he wants to talk to you about calmly, that you will be happy to listen to him. BUT let him know that if he is going to yell and make demands, you are the parent and he will have consequences. Determine what the necessary discipline will be and stick to it. It won't be easy but you've got to do it for his sake and yours. Good luck!

    Answer by jaybird110 at 1:52 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • Welcome to the world of "manipulation" my DS now 15 started that about the same age. I got some advise here at Cafemom that worked for me. Tell him NO stay firm if he continues tell him you love him to much to argue about it and that you do now want to hear another word about it or you will take something away for a period of time. You are the mom. I have decided that when he is mad at me I am doing my job. Stay firm. Good Luck!

    Answer by dillonsma at 3:21 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • Welcome to the wonderful world of adolescense!!!! Don't back down. Stand your ground. Take things away. FInd out if he does this at his father's house too and what dad does about it.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 5:23 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • My son will be 11 in October. I am raising him by myslef and I noticed the past few months he has wanted to argue, talk back, blow me off when I ask him to do something. He ALWAYS answers with "OK, WAIT" or "I KNOW". All I can say is that I have been having to sit him down and talk to him every night. Sometimes he cries out of frustration, he says that he doesn't even know what's gotten into him. He has always been a very respectful boy but I am actually chalking it up to pre-puberty. Now the manipulation part is always about something he wants, he always wants to make deals with me while we are the store and at first I would agree. "Please mom, buy me this and I promise I will mow the lawn" yeah right, I spent another hour telling him over and over to mow the lawn. Now I switched on him. "No sweetheart, first mow the lawn and THEN I will buy it for you". I don't want him to continue that dang INSTANT GRATIFICATION behavior!!

    Answer by Mamasita98 at 9:01 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • Staying firm is the best way to do this and keep in mind YOU are the parent and you need to be the parent. Sometimes your job doesn't include being his friend, other times it does. But you do need to lay down the law and make sure he doesn't steamroll you with his attitude and demands. My response, ignore the whole 'you don't love anymore if you don't give me this,' thing and just say "well I will always love, but you're still not getting that' and the 'if you don't give me this, i'll break that' then you spell out the consequences 'if you break that, you will spend the rest of the day in your room and EVERYTHING you own will be gone until I decide you get it back' etc. Address his behavior with his dad, advise them of the way he's acting and find out if he's acting that way there too. Even tho you're not with his dad you guys do need to have a united front. Sometimes you both will need to Commando Parent.

    Answer by moonbutterfly at 10:15 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • I have this with my sd. Funny you should mention that you think he is "fearful" of dad and stepmom. My sd mom is constantly saying that to us. But please, please keep in mind if you do not stand up and let him know that this behavior is not acceptable he will have learn how to manipulate. We have rules at our home and we have a very stable home. It seems like kids always test their parents but it is very important that as parents we address it. My sd has learned that she can get away with or get just about anything if she just says her life is bad with us. When in fact if mom would have stood up and not tolerated the behavior we would not be going through what we do. Remember that your child will love you even when you discipline them, and they will respect you more which will in it self give you a better relationship with them.

    Answer by sue118 at 4:32 PM on Jul. 23, 2009