Husband defended for calling 7-year-old daughter ‘manipulative’


A mum on Mumsnet has been slammed as ‘unreasonable’ for arguing it’s normal for her 7-year-old daughter to regularly throw tantrums when she doesn’t get what she wants. This led the husband to believe that the child is manipulating his mother

In the post, user TheLostNights described her daughter as the “baby of the family” and explained how her husband is coping. “For example, she gets upset if I can’t take her to school even though I’ve never really finished because of work. She’ll have a long crying spell the night before or in the morning, which means that I’m often late for work It’s not because she doesn’t like the event or the person she’s hanging out with, she just wants me or DH [darling husband],” she says.

She went on to explain how her husband thinks she should have gotten out of this behavior and that her mother should stop flattering her.

Manipulation or something else?

All children have temper tantrums and parents would probably find it suspicious if they didn’t. But regular meltdowns when a child doesn’t get what they want can sometimes be signs of manipulation. Understanding why your child is throwing a tantrum is the first step to managing them effectively. The New York-based non-profit Child Mind Institute suggested that temper tantrums “occur when children have big emotions that they don’t know how to deal with.”

Temper tantrums. Stock Photo. When is a tantrum just a tantrum or a sign of something more serious?
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The non-profit organization suggested that when children have temper tantrums after preschool age, “they may be symptoms of underlying issues. Extreme anxiety can cause temper tantrums. Children with ADHD are also prone to temper tantrums because they have poor impulse control and have trouble tolerating boredom.”

That’s not to say that some children may be intentionally manipulative to get what they want, but as the Child Mind Institute put it, “A lot of the angry behavior that parents consider intentional or manipulative is much less voluntary than they think, but that’s not to say it’s not a learned behavior.

“Children with severe mood problems don’t consciously calculate their tantrums, but they may have learned from adult reinforcement that tantrums get results.”

“He is right”

Support for the mother was pretty thin in the comments, with 84% of users calling it “unreasonable”.

“He’s right,” one user simply said, suggesting her husband was right that she needed to stop petting their 7-year-old. One person said the mother’s behavior was detrimental to her daughter: “She’s not a baby, she’s a first year student. Stop treating her like a toddler, OP, that’s not good for her.”

One person suggested that something else was going on. “Is there an underlying issue, like she doesn’t get enough attention in general?” Another minority user suggested that the husband should take more responsibility: “Did he come up with ideas/solutions or is he just criticizing you? What does he want you to do? That’s also his parent, what is he going to do about this?”

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via [email protected] We can seek advice from experts and your story could be published on Newsweek.


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