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    #147626 - 02/01/13 05:52 AM Re: Ever changing theories... [Re: moomin]
    bzylzy Offline

    Registered: 01/29/12
    Posts: 416
    If you could enter the HG magnet with solid evalutation in placeand strategies it could help, given they're open to it and understand the full wiring of more highly gifted children.

    My DD is very sensitive to chemicals, which runs in the family and is related to the food dye sensitivity, but one thing about a school environment, possibly for your DD, is they use hand sanitizer and those bleachy wipes (don't want to say a brand name!) so much in the elementary school classrooms. I've actually seen my DD completely change her personality after all the tables were wiped down and they usually have that as a classroom chore also.

    Is there a difference in the type of cleaning products you use at home and at school? Were those wipes or the hand sanitizers etc. on the supply list?

    My DD's new private school is not the perfect fit - but much better than anything she's had in the past but two environmental issues that help are 1) it's alot smaller and quieter, including the lunchroom, which helps because she has that auditory issue where, when there is too much noise she can't hear (or process? anything 2)they don't use those wipes or hand sanitizers, the kids just wash their hands with soap and water. The school actually smells much less chemically when you go in there (can you tell I don't like that - we are a vinegar/baking soda house!)

    #147635 - 02/01/13 08:36 AM Re: Ever changing theories... [Re: moomin]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181

    And, I suspect that if we were only talking about subversion and manipulation we'd still be in the boat that we're in. The other element, though, seems to be emotional intensity. So when she gets found-out, she LOSES HER MIND (for about ten minutes).

    Combine this with her total resistance to playing with her same age peers, and a tendency to wander off and start her own activities (generally reading or drawing) when she gets bored, and people start to jump to conclusions.

    YES. From our DESCRIPTIONS of our 2-5yo DD, (passive resistance, limited tolerance of agemates' activities, tendency toward solitary play, and talkativeness with adults).. whoah... can you say ASD? But seriously NOT the case.

    Moomin, she doesn't sound ALL that different from my own DD at those ages.

    It's just that my DD was always compassionate/empathetic. I know what child development says there, but... she has been compassionate/empathetic since at least 1yo. She only really assertively manipulated/s those she loves. (But OY, how she has done THAT...) shocked


    That psychologist who noticed your dd noticing her? She is probably a wealth of info.

    Yes indeedy.


    She reminds me of Constance in the Mysterious Benedict Society. I'm not living with your dd, but I so see what could have happened to my dd as a preschooler if I didn't grow up with a sib with the behavior and recognize it in dd early on. She also had adults in tears by engaging in subterfuge that was just plain diabolical. And what adult would admit to being outwitted by a cute little girl? I was a part time SAHM so it was easy for me to take dd out of the game, and closely watch her for manipulation tendencies--though I was still no match for her.


    I used to call my DH at work and sob to him on the phone. Seriously.

    I am not that person. I'm sure that some of the people who have met me later have been extremely shocked that I'm NOTHING like the weak-willed, dependent, indecisive shrinking violet that they had assumed. (LOL) But my 2-3yo, angelic, sweet DD had the power to turn me into a raving LUNATIC or a quivering puddle of goo.

    I agree with letting go of what kids this age "are" and "are not" capable of. With a PG kid, fuhgeddaboudit-- they write their own developmental rules. I've often found that this SOCIAL precosity is one of the most startling things about DD. She reads people so well-- and pretty much endlessly manipulates them. Now, she's NEVER doing it to create drama or chaos; she tends to do just the opposite... but still. It's really quite a thing to see in action, but it can raise the hair on the back of your neck if you suddenly zoom out in perspective and realize that you're watching a 3yo child with the manipulation skills of a 25yo motivational speaker.

    Book recommendation time:
    The Manipulative Child: How to Regain C...ndependent Kids

    The title is horrible, it goes without saying. But the BOOK... that's about parenting strategies that take "manipulation" out of the picture entirely, and help parents to recognize it for what it is and simply step away. While most parenting books are advocating karate moves to "outmaneuver" a manipulative child, this one offer Tai Chi/Aikkido-- just step sideways instead, or gently grasp the child's hand, and let him/her use that momentum to defuse the situation themselves.

    This has been one of my very favorite parenting books. (Seriously.) My DD still manipulates my DH and I into arguments as a means of deflecting/avoiding unpleasant conversations involving her. I'm wise to it. DH not-so-much. He flatly didn't BELIEVE me about her for years. Then he caught her 'smirk' a few times when she'd do something. Ohhhhh-- that look in her eye. "Gotcha..."

    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    #147642 - 02/01/13 09:58 AM Re: Ever changing theories... [Re: moomin]
    Zen Scanner Offline

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    So, there are people who are charming and unaware of it, it is just highly tuned automatic responses coupled with strong awareness of others. Then there are people who are charming and aware of it and everything they do. What is that line and is an individual with that level of awareness responsible for the potential to manipulate?

    You meet a stranger and smile or you meet a stranger and think I should smile and then smile. Is there a difference?

    I've struggled with this question and faulted in the other direction. Mostly because I grew up with a manipulative father, and it really is something that is hard to push past suspicion. One day when I was a teenager he was so proud of some long running manipulation he did at work and was telling me about it.. and it was a relief to have that confirmation.

    DS7 will do little manipulations and I've found less meltdowns and good progress by speaking directly to it without accusation. Like: "Ooh, yeah, that's not working... would you rather try a conversation or just write off the failure?"

    #147676 - 02/01/13 01:54 PM Re: Ever changing theories... [Re: moomin]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    One strategy that we found helpful with a child who was/is highly manipulative of others (going along with MoN's statements about channeling the force for GOOD) is in simply pointing out the ways in which such manipulation might be hurtful, exploitative, or damaging.

    With an empathetic child, it's often enough to do that.

    We do NOT intervene much in her 'steering' for social reasons; her empathy and judgment mostly do that for us now.


    I set about teaching her to channel it for good. Lots and lots of discussions about how to use your strong emotions in a positive way. And lots of time outs "until you can talk to me about what your motivation really was". She is now a good advocate, a leader, and highly competitive. She also makes herself artificial goals to self manipulate--If I finish my math, I get an m and m. And she has no patience for social games. She sees right through them and calls kids on it-- so queen bee type girls hate her.

    Yes, yes, yes!! My DD isn't competitive or highly assertive, but she has quiet/strong leadership skills. As parents, we often have an advantage that most adults do not-- we know on a gut-level what is up with something, or know when our kids are not being truthful. I always know, even if I don't choose to act on the information. This has, over time, made DD more open/honest with me about this.

    At first, I'm not even sure if she was all that self-aware. I used to really wonder.

    I'm also astonished by the peeing on the floor. OMG. My DD did this!! She peed on the sofa and then laughed at me and told me to CLEAN IT UP ( the rush of manipulation, clearly, but she needed me busy to allow her time to ferret something out... she was 2.5 and it was just before Christmas). With Dad, it was about public spectacle and guilt-- she triumphantly screeched at him "You MADE ME PEE ON THE FLOOR!!" in a store after refusing to go use the restroom... she got what she wanted (he stated that he'd NEVER take her on another errand). That was so successful, by the way, that she tried it with me about three weeks later... as she drew breath to bellow, I quietly told her that I was disappointed in her for not telling me that she needed to go. Then, while she was still a little off-balance, she got to apologize for making a mess, and explain "what happened" to a store employee. After all, what if someone SLIPPED on that wet spot and were hurt? I also damped down my own embarrassment (significant, as you might imagine), and calmly explained that I wasn't going to be the one apologizing for something I didn't do. It wasn't my apology to make. I also calmly paid for our purchases as usual while she stood there in wet clothing. By forcing her to face the consequences in human terms, I nipped it in the bud, I think. She was three; the poor man at the store was obviously horrified that I was so cruel to my sweet little girl... but then again, he didn't know her the way I did. I knew it was calculated. Her attitude confirmed it.

    Just funny that someone else had this same experience with urination as a locus of control/manipulation. Wow.


    If she is nurtured, I bet you'll see the defenses start to come down.

    I think this is a great observation. I agree. To work at guiding this particular gift (because it CAN be a gift) requires removing such a child from crisis mode so that they can control the behavior. Obviously, they still do things that will require some correction, but "reactionary" is not the way to handle them. This is something that my DH is still learning, by the way. Preemptive, mindful prevention and open conversation saves SO much heartache. smile
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    #147687 - 02/01/13 04:21 PM Re: Ever changing theories... [Re: moomin]
    Dbat Offline

    Registered: 02/14/12
    Posts: 353
    I just wanted to say, this is such a great board, and thanks to everyone for sharing their insights. DD was bullied last year by such a girl (who at that point was in third grade), and although I never talked to her parents about it because I didn't feel it was my place, I found it very disturbing. (Actually, I kept thinking about Cathy in East of Eden...but anyway). I don't think her parents understood what she was doing, and I know the teachers didn't, which led to a horrible year for DD (who she enjoyed manipulating) and us getting disinvited from the school. So it's really wonderful to see that some people see through this behavior and try to change it. I think this poor girl--who was not getting any help to change her behavior from either school or her parents, as far as I could tell--is very likely to become a manipulative grownup, with bad results all around.

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