Emotional Blackmail

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Using Parental Emotional Blackmail On Your Children?

Stop it!

Photo byCaleb Woods on Unsplash

Parental emotional blackmail is a form of manipulation in which a parent uses their child’s emotional attachments and vulnerabilities against them in order to get what they want. This can take the form of guilt-tripping, ultimatums, threatening, or even just making demands in a way that exploits the child’s emotional weaknesses.

While it may be done with the best of intentions, as it can be a very effective way to get a child to do what you want, parental emotional blackmail can have a serious impact on a child’s psychological development. It can damage their self-esteem and their emotional well-being. It can also make them fearful, and anxious, and even cause them to doubt their own worth. In extreme cases, it can lead to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

If you think you may be guilty of emotional blackmail, it’s important to try to change your behavior. Start by being more aware of your words and actions, and try to avoid using your child’s emotions against them. Instead, focus on communicating in a way that is respectful and supportive.

If you suspect that you are the victim of parental emotional blackmail, it is important to take steps to protect yourself.

First, try to identify the tactics that are being used against you. This will help you be better prepared to deal with them.

Second, set boundaries with your parents. Let them know what you will and will not accept.

Finally, seek out support from someone who can help you deal with this difficult situation.


3 Classic Toxic Parent Moves — And How To Respond. (2015, November 30). Bustle. Retrieved December 10, 2022.

Emotionally Blackmailing Children Is Hurting Them, Here’s How. (2021, January 30). Emotionally Blackmailing Children Is Hurting Them. Retrieved December 10, 2022.

Why do so many mothers emotionally blackmail their grown children with fear, obligation, and guilt? (2014, January 20). Mothers Emotionally Blackmail Their Grown Children With Fear? - AgingCare.com. Retrieved December 10, 2022.

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