13 Signs of a Toxic Parent That Many People Don’t Realize
Although most parents try to be the best parents to their kids in order to provide them with a happy and healthy childhood, they can still make mistakes that may lead to problems. Sadly, there are some parents who get into the toxic category.
It does not matter if a parent is being toxic on purpose or not, some behaviors may lead to mental and emotional damage to a kid that affects their lives as adults.
If you are one of those children that have experienced some of the following situations, there is a high chance that one or even both of your parents were toxic.
1. No Affirmation and Security
Some parents think that expressing tough love for their children is a significant way to make sure that they will be able to take good care of themselves as adults. If you experienced this, you may think that this has had a good impact on your life.
But, if you feel broken because of any rejection or failure, that may be a result of your parents not providing you enough affirmation and security while you were a child.
Even though tough love may be a good thing sometimes, it cannot be the only way that parents use to make their kids healthy and happy, adults.
2. Too Much Criticism
Parents tend to criticize their kids every now and then, and this is a good thing because we are capable of learning many things the right way, like doing laundry. But, toxic parents become overly critical about every little thing their kid does.
Many parents think that this approach will prevent their kids from making mistakes, but that is not the case. Many kids develop a damaging inner critic that may have a negative impact on their adulthood.
3. Attention Seekers
Parents who want their kids to pay attention all the time are toxic. Although it may seem like a bonding, it requires a lot and it takes too much of the time and energy of the kid.
So, kids end up with no time to focus on learning new things. Sometimes it may be hard to let their kids grow and develop, but parents need to do that if they want to have a happy and healthy kid.
4. Toxic Jokes On Your Account
Parents tend to make jokes on their kids’ accounts from time to time, but when this turns into a constant thing then that is a problem. This habit can make you feel bad about yourself.
Parents should choose an honest and non-critical way of addressing their children.
5. You Justify Bad Behavior Because of Your Parents
Some people grow up in an environment in which their parents made them believe that their emotional or physical abuse was deserved. So, if you have been abused in this way, then, that may be the reason why justify that type of behavior.
Parents who are toxic can make their situation as they wish, and kids have two alternatives: accept the blame, or accept their parents are wrong. Mostly, kids choose the first alternative.
6. You Are Not Permitted to Express Negative Emotions
Kids will not be able to express their emotions if their parents do not want to nurture their emotional needs and if they do not allow them to express negative emotions. It is always good to show your child the positive side of every situation.
Nonetheless, if parents do not let their children express negative feelings that may result in depression and they may be unable to deal with negative things in adulthood.
7. They Use Fearful Actions
Sometimes parents think that fear and respect go in the same package, but that is not the case. Actually, when children feel support, connection, and love, they have better chances of being happy when they grow up.
Of course, sometimes discipline is needed, but parents who are not toxic never go for actions that cause fear and may lead to psychological damage. Kids should not be afraid of their parents in order to respect them.
8. Parents Make Their Feelings a Priority
Some parents still think that their feelings are at the top. And, although they need to make plans and bring decisions, parents need to consider every family member’s feelings. Parents who are toxic are forcing their children to keep their feelings.
9. They Take Away Your Goals
There are parents that get interested in everything their kid does, and they even end up doing the same thing. This may seem like something a parent who is interested in their kid’s life does, but it is stopping their kid from achieving its aims.
For instance, if a kid needs to sell fifty cookies while their mum decides to bake cookies in order to pass them to the neighbors, the kid will not be able to achieve the aim.
And, if you let your parent get in your way, you may have problems even when you are an adult.
10. Money and Guilt as a Way to Control You
Toxic parents choose to play the guilt game all the time. Sometimes, even adults are controlled by their parents in a way that they get pricey gifts but are also expected to do something to return the favor.
And, if the person does not succeed to do this, the parents may make them feel guilty. When parents are healthy, they are aware that their children do not owe them anything.
11. The Silent Treatment
We know that having a decent conversation while being angry is hard, but giving a child the silent treatment is immature as well as harmful.
Also, this type of treatment is damaging to any relationship because it forces the other party to try to fix the problem even if they did not cause them. Healthy parents when angry ask their children for a couple of minutes instead of ignoring them.
12. No Healthy Boundaries
Sometimes snooping is justified and even necessary in order to keep your kid safe. Anyway, we all deserve privacy; especially teenagers need to have some boundaries. Toxic parents respect no boundaries and that leads to numerous issues.
For instance, parents who are toxic may open their kid’s doors without knocking. And, this may lead to kids being unable to understand boundaries in adulthood.
13. You Feel Responsible for Their Happiness
Some parents spend a lot of time talking to you about the time and energy they invested in you, and they connect that with their unhappiness. However, children should be responsible for their parents’ happiness.
Likewise, parents should not ask their kids to do everything for them in order to make them happy. If kids are put in this type of situation, they will not be able to learn that we are all responsible for our own happiness.
Staying away from toxic people seems like a hard thing to do especially if it is your parent. However, you need to do something to fix the damage that has been done to you.
And, if you are a parent and you find yourself in this article, you may want to see a counselor and ask them for guidance on how to break that negative behavior.