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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 24

Never emotionally blackmail them

Have you ever caught yourself saying any of the following (or variations on them)?

  • ‘After everything I’ve done for you, surely you can just do this for me?’
  • ‘You’re making me sad.’
  • ‘It’s not fair on me.’

Recognise any of those? If not, well done – go to the next page. If you have ever heard any of these words coming out of your mouth, you’re certainly not alone. Nevertheless, these are all forms of emotional blackmail and thus a Bad Thing.

Emotional blackmail puts an underhand and insidious pressure on your children, and if you do it often your children will develop an unhelpful tendency to guilt, along with quite possibly a resentment towards you. What’s more, you’re indicating that your feelings ...

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