We, parents, want all good things for our kids being ready to move Heaven and Earth for the sake of their happiness. But, as you know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and sometimes, parent’s behavior takes a negative toll on kids’ psychological state. Aren’t you one of those toxic parents who use inadequate upbringing strategies? This post is here to help you understand what might be done wrong and avoid the situation “We tried our best – you know the rest” in the long-term future.
Without further ado, let’s get down to detecting the 10 signs of toxic parents.
1. They Do Not Make Kid Feel Safe And Secure
It is crucial to express your love to kids and let them know you love them the way they are. Children should know that parents will accept, understand, support and sympathize. “Toxic” parents are against such approach: instead, they use the method of “tough love” when every child. This way, they think the kids will be able to handle problems themselves in the future.
Result: In adulthood, the children of such parents give up in case of trouble, and hardly find the strength to overcome quite feasible obstacles. They are hurt by any rejection of failure.
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2. Endless Criticism
“Toxic” parents believe that praise can spoil the child, so build up their educational methods on criticism. “If you do not criticize, how will the child understand that he is mistaken?” – they say. However, they don’t ask themselves such questions as “When a person should make mistakes, if not in childhood?”, “How should we learn if not by making mistakes?”
Result: A hard inner critic grows up in a child who literally paralyzes his freedom of choice, creativity, and his desire to take risks.
3. Toxic Parents Make Children Justify Inadmissible Behavior
Toxic parents don’t miss the chance to punish kids for wrongdoing by insulting them. And even if the insult or punishment was superfluous and wrong, the “toxic” parents do not consider it necessary to apologize. In any situation, children are blamed. What do they do? A rare kid realizes that parents are doing wrong – most often, they accept all the blame.
Result: Children of “toxic” parents grow up with a huge sense of guilt and even in adulthood justify someone’s ugly actions by their own fault.
4. They Do Not Allow Kids To Express Negative Emotions
Children are small people with a myriad of good and bad feelings like us. They have the right to be angry and upset: all in all, this is how the normal nervous system works. In the families of “toxic” parents, children are not allowed to get angry, offended or cry from resentment.
Result: In adulthood, such children have a higher risk of developing frequent depressions, even in situations where the other people would simply relax with friends or shout out crying to release negative feelings.
5. Toxic Parents Put Their Ego On A Pedestal
Result: In adulthood, it is difficult for such children to understand what they want and listen to their inner voice. Sometimes, these children live someone else’s life denying themselves happiness and freedom.
6. Fear Is An Ever-Working Instrument For Them
Fear and respect are different notions, but for “toxic parents, these concepts are inseparable. They prefer keeping offspring in their iron fists despite the age.
Result: Even as they grow up, these children stay anxious and fearful, even if they just need to talk to their parents on the phone. Upon growing up, children try to escape from their “toxic” home as early as possible and cease dealing with negative parents.
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7. Manipulation By Using Money And Sense Of Duty
“We have done so much for you!” – say “toxic parents,” demanding complete submission from the child. Children of such “ancestors” are not allowed to possess their own opinion, different from his mother’s or father’s. Otherwise, they have to deal with anger and resentment. “We have done so much for you! How dare you make friends with the wrong people, watch wrong films and choose the wrong hobbies?” – that’s their clear message.
Result: Being infected with the “virus of guilt”, even adults can easily convince themselves that they are obliged to please their parents.
8. Constant Breaching Of Kid’s Private Space And Life
Entering the room without knocking, reading a personal diary or correspondence in social networks, listening at the door when the child is speaking on the phone … For some reason, toxic parents believe this way they ensure the kid’s security. In reality, they lose the kid’s trust and make him/her shut out from the family.
Result: It is difficult for an adult child of “toxic” mom and dad to understand where the borders of private life are, which might cause problems in friendship and in love. Besides, such behavior erases trust and only makes kids lie about personal life.
9. They Don’t Speak To Kids Deliberately And Demonstratively
Even if you’re in a sour mood or angry, shutting yourself off from the child with a wall of silence is like saying “You don’t exist to me”. That hurts little ones very much! It’d be much wiser to explain that you need some time to calm down.
Result: Such behavior also contributes to the sense of guilt and kills a child’s self-esteem.
10. Toxic Parents Compare Kids With Others
Comparison is a sore subject for any kind of relationship, so remember once and forever: do NOT compare your kid/spouse/friend/sibling with other people trying to pinpoint the weak sides and mistakes. Toxic parents think that comparison motivates kids to develop, but it does the opposite – kills enthusiasm.
Result: Kids grow up and continue comparing themselves with others feeling inferior. Comparison causes jealousy, low self-esteem, and other psychological problems.
Hopefully, you’ve passed this toxic parents test successfully and don’t act like that. But if you realize your kid’s growing in a toxic family, it’s high time to rethink your parenting strategies!