Friday, March 1, 2013

Master Manipulator.

My newest 4 year old is a MASTER manipulator.

For example:

Today my three girls were taking turns playing with 2 doll highchairs.  When I said "In a couple minutes it will be time to trade" she handed one of the girls her highchair in hopes that when I said "It's time to trade" she would then get the highchair back again for another long turn.

Another example:

If she has something and I tell one of the other girls "I will go look for another one for you" she will all but throw the one she has at them so she can get the one I am going to go find because she knows she will want that one.

And lastly:

She watches every move me and my husband make.  As soon as we turn our backs she will do something she knows she would get in trouble for if we were watching.

That being said...

A week or two ago, when she was in trouble, I asked her if she was upset about her bio parents.  She said yes.  I felt bad so I let her off.

Now every time she is in trouble she says the same thing, "I want to go play at *insert bio family's names here* house".  She seriously does not remember her bio mom.  The only reason she knows her name is because I told her what her name was.  She does remember her bio dad, but I don't know to what extent.  She never talked about them at her old foster home.  I do think she likes talking about them so I will continue to let her, but I think she is playing me when it comes to her being in trouble and bringing it up.


Her Artichoke Heart said...

I recently heard that four years old is the cutest age. Seriously, they've studied this! Guess that's why we let them get away with so much ;) Hoping to adopt out of the foster care system in the next year or so. Glad I found your blog!

Mama P said...

I think she and Star could be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER. I feel like all day long I am having to whip my head around to see what he's trying to sneak.

It's something people have to actually live with to understand. I want to slap people when they say "But he's just so cute!" LOL

Debra said...

Yeah my 7 year old likes to be multiplicative at times. You are right, people can not understand unless you live with it! It can be maddening for sure! Some times it feels good to just to in your room and scream into your pillow...LOL Hang in there! ~hugs~

Anonymous said...

Yes - she is manipulating you. We never bring up "missing the bios" unless the child mentions it - and then, we acknowledge it and quickly move on to something else. Early on, when my now-adopted daughter moved in, she said "I miss mommy (bio)." She said this when she was going to time-out. She had been in another foster home for 2 years before coming to us. She does not remember ever living with her bios. The first time, I reacted ... oh we love you .... etc. The second time she did this, I saw her face in my car rearview mirror and saw that she was only saying that to manipulate me. She was waiting to see my reaction and then say it again so I felt bad. So I had no reaction and we went on with other things.

I in no way want to minimize the grief and trauma these kids have gone through - but follow your intuition - you know when it is true grief and when it is manipulation. These kids act manipulative because it is how they survived their situations - adults were not trustworthy so they learned behaviors that made them feel in control of the adults.
In my group of foster moms, we have run accross the following manipulative behaviors that go beyond the normal developmental behaviors - eating very very slowly, food battles, pretending to be "sick", asking incessant questions that the kid already knows the answer to, forgetting important skills such as toliet training.

Unknown said...

This SO sounds like Teapot. To a "t"!