5 Habits of Toxic Parents Which Can Ruin Children Without Being Aware of It
We should all know that our parents have planted emotional and mental seeds in us, whether we like it or not. The fact is, parents have the same role when it comes to their children.
But, the difference is whether those seeds are seeds of love, independence, and respect, or they are seeds of obligation, fear, and guilt.
Unfortunately, many parents engage in toxic behavior which gradually becomes dominant in their children’s lives. Even though it’s normal to make mistakes from time to time as there’s no perfect parent, there’s a clear boundary when too many mistakes.
A parent who constantly engages in abusive behavior towards their children creates a toxic environment which causes emotional damage to the innocent child.
These parents are called toxic parents. They may love their children, but love means so much more than just a feeling. It should come with comforting, nourishing, respectful, encouraging, accepting, and valued behavior.
Some of the common effects of toxic upbringing include lost childhood, anxiety, depression, low self-worth, feelings of guilt and shame, etc.
No one says parenting is easy, but there are some behaviors and habits that parents should avoid at all costs. Some of them are social, others psychological, and third physical.
Here are a few habits of toxic parents and their effects on children’s emotional and mental development.
1. Not Providing a Sense of Security & Affirmation
Many parents think that children should be punished to learn what’s right and what’s wrong, especially dads when it comes to their sons. But, it takes a lot of love to shape young boys into strong, smart, and capable men.
If parents punish their children over everything, they disable their ability to be strong and persistent in the face of life challenges. That’s because they will expect “a punishment” after every failure in life. Punishment in the form of disappointment, anger, or frustration.
Children should become adults who know that after failing they should try harder to do better, and not quit.
2. Being Overly Critical
Parents who project their failures onto their children make a terrible mistake. They might have dreamed to become a football star but didn’t make it because of a torn ligament, and now are forcing their child to be something they never wanted.
What they don’t realize is that forcing the child to become something they wish they were is destroying their self-esteem. Having such unrealistic expectations doesn’t make their child stronger or better.
On the contrary, it makes them weaker and it crushes their confidence to pursue their own dreams and be fulfilled in life.
3. Intimidating and Threatening
Dealing with little kids can be stressful and frustrating at some points. They can become unsure and afraid at things that are extremely simple for their parents. Children don’t have the same self-control as their parents, which makes parenting even more difficult.
However, parents should never level threats since that can destroy their children’s confidence in them. They should avoid authority like:
“If you don’t ____ then _____.” “If you do _______, this is going to happen to you.”
Threatening them in this way will make them the least reliable people in their children’s lives. Their child will certainly not come to them for help when needed, or talk honestly about something they are going through because of fear of punishment.
Helicopter parenting is when patents are over-focused on their kids, especially on their education. They are excessively involved in their child’s life, including the choice of their friends, teachers, hobbies, hovering over their head like a helicopter.
But, this type of parenting which becomes a common problem nowadays, is only making the kids dependent on their parents, even when they become adults.
Parents should let their children make choices and mistakes, as well as acknowledge their successes as only in that way their child will become an independent person. Otherwise, they will grow into an adult without skills to succeed on their own.
5. Not Listening
Children know very well when their parents use sarcasm or when they are not listening to them. They understand that, and they feel that. Not being listened makes kids feel dumb and unimportant.
On the other hand, when parents really listen to their kids it makes them feel worthy and unique as an individual. Things that might seem too simple or ordinary for parents can be mind-blowing for kids. That’s why parents should focus more on what their child thinks and says.
These are just a few parents’ behaviors that do more harm than good for their children. They affect the child’s emotional and mental development and contribute to their character-building.
Feel free to share this article with every parent to help them become the best parent they can be.