Husband Defended for Labeling His 7-Year-Old Daughter as 'Manipulative'

A mother on Mumsnet has been labeled "unreasonable" for arguing that it is normal for her 7-year-old daughter to throw regular temper tantrums when she doesn't get her way. This has led the husband to believe that the child is manipulating her mother

In the post, user TheLostNights described her daughter as the "baby of the family" and explained how her husband's take. "For example, she gets upset if I can't take her to school even though I never really have done because of work. She will have a long crying fit the night before or in the morning meaning I am often running late for work. It's not because she dislikes the event or person she is left with, she just wants me or DH [darling husband]," she said.

She went on to explain how her husband believes she should have grown out of this behavior and her mother should stop pandering to her.

Manipulation or Something Else?

All children have tantrums, and parents would probably find it suspicious if they didn't. But regular meltdowns when a child doesn't get what they want can sometimes be signs of manipulation. Understanding why your child is having a tantrum is the first step to managing them effectively. New York-based non-profit organization Child Mind Institute suggested that tantrums "happen when kids have big emotions that they don't know how to deal with."

Temper tantrum
Temper tantrums. Stock Image. When is a tantrum just a tantrum, or a sign of something more serious? Getty Images

The non-profit suggested that when children have tantrums after preschool age, "they may be symptoms of underlying problems. Extreme anxiety can cause tantrums. Kids with ADHD are prone to outbursts, too, as they have poor impulse control and find it hard to tolerate boredom."

That's not to say that some children may be being intentionally manipulative to get what they want, but as the Child Mind Institute said: "A good deal of tantrum behavior that parents see as intentional or manipulative is much less voluntary than they realize. But that's not to say that it isn't learned behavior.

"Kids with serious temper problems aren't consciously calculating throwing tantrums, but they may have learned, through reinforcement from adults, that tantrums get results."

"He's Right"

Support for the mother was pretty thin in the comments, with 84 percent of users voting her as 'unreasonable'.

"He's right", one user simply put, suggesting her husband was correct in saying she needs to stop pandering to their 7-year-old. One person said that the mothers behavior was detrimental to her daughter: "She's not a baby, she's a junior aged pupil. Stop treating her like a toddler, OP, it isn't good for her."

One person suggested that there was something else going on. "Is there an underlying issue eg she doesn't get enough attention usually?" Another user in the minority suggested the husband needed to take more responsibility: "Has he offered any ideas/solutions or is he just criticising you? What does he want you to do? He is her parent too, what is he going to do about it?"

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