|Children Manipulating Parents After Divorce|
The best mascot I can think of for the Manipulators comes from the children's television show Rugrats. If you haven't seen Angelica from Rugrats, you have really missed something. The Manipulators of this world are anything but angels, and they can be boys as well as girls.
Characteristics and behaviors
Manipulators are determined characters who are often extremely successful long-term in business and corporate life. They are quite often single-minded people who like to take charge and tell people what to do. Hopefully they don't end up being your boss. Also, I'm not sure you would want them running a nursing home where you are being cared for in your older years.
Manipulators are a living testament to the truth of Jean Giraualoux's famous comment, "The secret of success is sincerity - once you can fake that, you've got it made."
These kids can be quite mild in family settings. Even so, they generally know a lot more about their rights than their responsibilities. It is important to know that the behavior of Manipulators can vary wildly in different settings.
It is a disappointing moment for a parent to realize that their golden child who mixes well with other adults and acts as sweet as pie can be an absolute dictator when it comes to playing with children his own age.
Try to never leave these kids unsupervised in a group of children, as they will often gang up and play other kids off against one another. This is usually done by siding with one child at the expense of a second. When these kids fall out with friends, they usually do so in a big way.
They can be quite vehement and can quite purposely, leave other people out. As a result, they often need a lot of help to build ongoing peer groups and to learn how to make up and resolve differences with friends. When conflict with parents occurs, the Manipulators of this world really know how to push all the buttons. They can be quite provocative and accusing, and can tell their parents they are stupid.
Manipulators are children who not only need to be the center of attention, they have to be the best. Getting between one of these kids and their goal means you risk abuse, being put down, and sometime having a verbal brawl that would embarrass most lawyers and even flush the cheeks of a few politicians.
Why they need help
The Manipulators of this world are extremely ambitious and goal-focused. Now you might say that sounds well suited to success in the modern world. The difficulty arises when you realize it is a case of winning or nothing. There is no second best for Manipulators, so unless they win every time (and let's face it, who really does?) they are devastated. Their self-esteem is not based on anything positive.
Essentially they work from the idea that the end justifies the means. If winning (or impressing adults) requires that they lie, cheat, or denigrate others, they will do it. Their moral reasoning can be based on expediency.
Another difficulty facing the Manipulators is that they only connect with a limited range of people. Unless helped to broaden their social skills, they end up at best respected, most often feared, and rarely liked. There is a risk of loneliness. To find out more, you can check out Children Manipulating Parents After Divorce.