Your parents will always tell you they mean well and they just want the best for you. Many people will tell you that your parents are right, that you are just overreacting.
But is that the case? What if your parents are already stamping on your individuality with their too old-fashioned thinking and it is already causing you too much stress and anxiety? If your parents are already showing signs of being a toxic parent and not know it.
Our parents may mean well, but that doesn’t mean they are perfect and that they don’t make mistakes to the point of being toxic.
1). Too critical
Maybe your parents tell you more about what you do wrong more than what you do correctly. Sometimes small choices that you make may have resulted in getting in some form of small conflict where you will learn one or two things because it happened. But to toxic parents, they will not hear the end of it.
Sometimes they are nitpicking on your minor mistakes, however small it is, not knowing that they are doing irreparable damage in the long run.
A child that grows up to highly critical parents may lose confidence, not wanting to try new things, not knowing what steps to take, and not knowing how to decide on their own.
A child that has learned from their mistakes, however, without a parent rubbing their mistakes in their face, but are supportive will help them grow to be self-sufficient. Will grow up cautious, but wise, and will grow up to be a person who can stand independently with confidence.
2). Wanting their child’s attention at all times
Sometimes parents can crowd their kids without meaning to. They see it as bonding time with their kids, wanting to do things together, talk for long periods, etc. But a parent should also give their children alone time and do what they love without their parents hovering over their heads.
3). Joke about you in front of relatives or even in front of the family
This may seem funny or a point of conversation for the entire family, but it is not amusing to be a butt of the joke where everyone looks at you while laughing their hearts out. It is embarrassing to be the butt of a joke if your child is not a kid anymore. Their confidence will also take a beating if this is a usual happening during a family get-together or family reunion.
4). Parents that blame their children
Parents also have their shortcomings, and they are not superheroes because they have their mistakes too. A good parent will admit to their mistakes and apologize for whatever they did wrong, most especially, to their children. Parents who instead blame their children for making them act terribly is not a good parent but is toxic. But many parents are this way, thinking they may blame their kids because they are their kids, not knowing that this has a terrible effect on them growing up.
5). They see crying as unacceptable behavior that is not tolerable
Not being there for your children emotionally is wrong. A child should feel that their parents are there to understand, listen, and to hear their side. Sometimes parents see this behavior as a weakness and sometimes ridicule their children for being emotional. This will lead the child to think he shouldn’t have sentiments, which will cause emotional instability to the growing child.
6). Parents who like their children to fear them instead of respecting them
Some toxic parents prefer having their children fear them. Instilling fear at a very young age instead of giving their children the right support and understanding when they make mistakes. The child will instead be too fearful to even tell their parents, and will just hide what they are feeling.
This is not healthy, most especially to a young child. They may grow to be a violent person thinking if people fear them, they have power over them. They can also do the same for their children.
7). Blaming their kids for their misfortunes and sadness
This type of parent will always tell their children that they feel bad because of them and that their children do not understand how they are feeling. Making the child guilty for doing such things to their parents, not knowing that this is some emotional blackmail. The toxic parents are using the child’s emotions to make them take pity on their parents, which should not be the case.
The child may grow up to feel that if something bad happens, it is always their fault or that they have something to do about the misfortunes of others or the people they love.
8). Parents who want their child to realize their dreams for them
Parents who do this want their child to meet a goal to the point of forcing them to do something that they don’t want to do. A toxic parent who wants his child to be a fashion model when the child wants to be a musician or a parent who wants his son to be a basketball player because that is actually the parent’s dream to be a basketball player. Yes, the parent may only want the child to succeed, but you cannot force your child to do things they don’t like, especially when it involves future happiness.
9). Money means power to them
Instances where a toxic parent lavishes the child with gifts instead of their time. They want their child to respect them and love them because they are the source of material things, and they have the money. This will also make the child grew up to be materialistic, thinking with money, they have power since that is how they are brought up.
10). Power of silence
Parents may sometimes feel bad about what their child has done or when their child made a mistake. These parents will not talk to the child for a long time, as if they do not exist. The child will wonder if what he has done is so dreadful to be treated as such.
Parents should talk to the child instead of giving them a silent treatment and let the child know what they did wrong. Talking is the fastest way for the child not to repeat the mistake and for the parent to understand what is the reason the child acted in a certain way.
11). Abuse is power
Abuse is not just physical, but also mental, emotional, and verbal. Some toxic parents may do all the above and justify why they do it to their child. Sometimes even telling the child it is the child’s fault why they were kicked and shoved to the wall, that it is because of their naughtiness and for their supposed uncaring behavior to their parents.
The child will grow up thinking if a person is uncaring, it is just right to also do the same to them. This is destructive because the child as they grow old becomes violent and abusive too.
12). Exposing their child to danger
Some parents expose their young children to danger e.g. having a relationship with another man and not thinking about the safety of their young daughter. Leaving their child alone with strangers who can hurt them, are just samples of irresponsible behavior of a parent. The child’s safety should be the foremost the priority of any parent. No ifs and buts.
13). Not letting their children make a decision
For fear that their children can get into trouble or make wrong decisions, some parents will not let their children do any. They will always get to decide about their child. The child will have no personal say on the matter to the point they will feel as if their parents are living their lives for them. As an adult, this child will become so dependent on others to decide for them, and they will go through life always fearing they will make the wrong decisions.
14). No boundaries
Parents should realize that their children have their individuality and should treat them with respect and understanding. We should give them privacy, just like adults. Children should have a safe place they call their own, where not everyone can enter just because they want to, not even their parents.
Some parents won’t hear of it, thinking they own the house, and they have all the right to barge in anytime they want.
This is like teaching the child to not respect boundaries, that it is not real because their parents don’t know the meaning of it, so why should they?
15). Parents who make their children take care of them and not the other way around
The parent seems to act so helplessly and clingy, wanting support from their children. They are called immature parents, and they need fixing from their children. They emotionally depend on their child, financially, and even physically. Whatever the parents should do for their children is not being done by a parent and the children suffer because of this.
The children with such parents will feel trapped and will question if this is really the right parenting and may even do the same when they have a family of their own.