So many words; so little time…

I have several projects going, forgive me, please, reader(s). I think I’ll take some time today to talk about manipulation. It’s interesting how early we learn it, how many of us hang onto it, and how we use it.

I’m not a psychiatrist (not even close), just an avid observer of Wo/Man. I am also a daycare teacher and a mother, so I see it firsthand, in very small children. My daughter tries to get me to laugh whenever I’m frustrated with her and children crave attention, so they sometimes act out. That’s all normal and something we kind of just accept as a fact of life, particularly considering a young child’s narcissistic viewpoint of his/her world. In fact, to a two or three-year-old, it literally seems just that. His/her world, with the rest of us just kinda here for entertainment and snacks and such.

Kyra’s getting older, so she’s not as bad about it now, but she used to go crazy if I was on the phone, or the computer. I couldn’t close the door to the bathroom for about a year and a half, there. She would do absolutely anything to get my attention and, eventually, I’d have to stop doing whatever it was that otherwise occupied me to save her from herself and these daring stunts to vie for my time. It was all-consuming. She didn’t do it with her Dad, because she didn’t get away with it. She couldn’t quite get the rise out of him that she got out of me, so she gave up.

It’s the same thing at daycare. I don’t know if I’m a little softer than I should be, or if it’s because I’m just sort of a big kid most of the time, but those kids try things with me that they wouldn’t dream of doing if certain other teachers were in there. And they know the difference, too, because they watch out for those teachers while they’re pulling their tricks. They know what time so-and-so comes in and tone it down. It’s hilarious. I mean, a lot of times it makes me want to pull my hair out; I’m not gonna lie. It’s still funny when I sit back at the end of the day.

What’s not funny is when they never outgrow it. That’s dangerous. It’s when manipulation turns into a broken person on the other end. I’ve always been pretty straightforward because my dad respected that and I don’t like to mess with people’s feelings. It’s important to notice, when your child begins to outgrow that selfish tendency to get their own way at any cost. It definitely needs to be shed with toddlerhood.