Parents ask: Doesn’t having their parents constantly accepting their emotions make children more likely to manipulate their parents?
Answer by John Lambie, Reader in Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, author of My First Emotions.
I understand your worry but actually if you follow the advice of the Parent’s Guide in My First Emotions, you accept only the feelings; you don’t have to accept the behaviour or agree to all requests. It doesn’t mean you give them what they want. Indeed, emotional validation can be a way of NOT letting manipulation work. For example, you may validate #crying and upset without trying to change it. If your goal were to stop them crying, then manipulative crying would work. But the goal of #emotional validation is not to stop them crying, it is to accept their feelings, so emotional manipulation is less likely to work. For example “I know you are very disappointed that I didn’t buy you that toy. It’s hard when you don’t get things you want. We can’t buy any presents until #Christmas. I have put in on the list of things you want.” And then you accept that he cries about this.
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