How do I deal with manipulative parents

If you don't get what you want from mom, you go to dad. Often children only test their limits with it. Playing off the parents against each other can also have other reasons. “It is to be understood as a silent cry for help. Children need warmth and attention. If they don't get it, they draw attention to themselves - often also through inappropriate behavior, ”says Franz Lehner, journalist and consultant in the men's office in Salzburg.

To prevent the children from being manipulated, the following steps can be taken:
First, parents need to agree on their parenting style. A child has to know where his limits are. If you can't get a piece of chocolate from mum, then neither from dad. In any case, the parents must form a team.
Meals together are also very important. One should be careful not to have inconsequential small talk, but to address the concerns of the little ones.
In addition, conflicts should not be carried out in front of children, as they are very sensitive and quickly adopt behavioral patterns.

These measures are not easy to implement. The pressure on the parents is great because nowadays both of them are often at work and come home stressed. However, the children expect full attention. In order to be able to give them this, the advisor recommends that you take a short break. "Sit on a park bench for 15 minutes, take a deep breath, switch off and then return home relaxed," says Lehner.

The bottom line is that it is always most important that parents agree how they stand on certain questions and try to conform as well as possible in their attitudes.
Especially after a breakup it can happen that you play children off and try to pull the children on your side according to the “good guy - bad guy” principle.

"You shouldn't present the bill to children because the parents failed because of their relationship," emphasizes the consultant. And here a lot of generosity and careful listening is required in order not to fall into the children's trap of manipulation.

If you need support with the subject of upbringing and partner problems, you can get help in one of the numerous Austrian advice centers.