Posted on Aug 28,2021
No one, including our parents, is flawless. They may have the greatest of intentions and only want the best for their children, yet they make mistakes and may inadvertently harm their children. Despite this, they have a strong desire to change and make things right.
Toxic parenting, on the other hand, entails parents who profess to love and care for their children while mistreating them. They engage in parenting practises that result in long-term trauma, abuse, humiliation, and ill-will. They do not regard their children as people, do not compromise, do not accept responsibility for their actions, and are unlikely to apologise. They are lacking in compassion and nurturing skills, and are more concerned with their personal demands than with whether or not what they are doing is detrimental or hurtful.
This pattern of behaviour instils anxiety, guilt, and obligation in the youngster, as well as leaving emotional scars. Toxic parents treat their children in ways that make them question their value, self-worth, and whether or not they are deserving of love, approval, and validation.
Following are some traits of toxic parents
● They are unable to make you feel secure
Some individuals believe that teaching their children to be tough is a vital part of ensuring that they will be able to care for themselves in the future. If you were often subjected to this method, you might even believe that it had a favourable effect on your life. If, on the other hand, you now nearly break apart because of any perceived failure or rejection, it is most likely due to a parent's toxic reluctance to offer you the appropriate level of stability and affirmation when you were a child. Tough love may work in some cases, but it cannot be a parent's sole strategy if they want their child to grow into a well-rounded adult.
● They are extremely critical
Parents reprimand their children from time to time. We may never learn how to do a variety of activities properly if this component is missing, such as common duties like laundry. A toxic parent takes this to the extreme by being extremely critical of their child's every move. Parents may believe that by doing so, they are ensuring that their children do not make costly mistakes. Unfortunately, this behaviour leads to the development of a harsh inner critic in the youngster, which can be crippling in adulthood.
● They Demand Your Attention
By constantly demanding their children's attention, toxic parents frequently convert their children into their own parental replacements. This may appear to be a parent-child bonding experience, but it is actually a parasitic relationship that consumes too much of the child's time and energy when they should be acquiring other skills. A well-rounded parent will give their children enough room to grow and be kids without needing constant interaction to meet their personal demands, even if it is tough at times.
● They are quite insensitive while making a joke about you
Every parent picks on their children from time to time, but when the so-called jokes become routine, it may become a major issue. You don't have to put up with this kind of behaviour just because your parents have always made jokes about your height or weight. Finally, this is a self-defeating strategy that can make you feel terrible about yourself. Instead of making cruel jokes, if a parent has a valid concern to discuss with their child, they should be honest and non-judgmental.
● They blame you for justifying their terrible behaviour
Did you ever believe that your parent was abusing you physically or emotionally because you deserved it? If that's the case, you might be rationalising other people's bad behaviour at your own price. Toxic parents may manipulate any circumstance to fit their wants, leaving children with two options: accept that their parent is incorrect or take full responsibility for their actions. Children, even those who are now adults, prefer the latter option in the vast majority of circumstances.
● They ignore your dull phases and negative emotions
Parents who refuse to nourish their children's emotional needs and dismiss their negative feelings are preparing their children for a future in which they will be unable to articulate their needs. There's nothing wrong with assisting children in seeing the bright side of any circumstance. However, dismissing a child's negative sentiments and emotional needs altogether might lead to sadness and make it more difficult for them to deal with negativity correctly as adults.
Some other signs of toxic behaviour are
● Controlling one's actions (how you behave, what you wear, what you do, etc)
● Lack of respect/lack of limits
● They're emotional, theatrical, and unpredictable.
● They dismiss your feelings.
● Try to live vicariously via you. They prioritise their emotions.
● They demand perfection and rely on fear to get people to comply.
● They are passive-aggressive, rude, and brutal in their guilt-tripping.
● They are demanding and competitive, and they try to sabotage you by playing the victim.
● When you talk to, spend time with, or think about them, you feel horrible.
● Even though you're an adult, they treat you like a child.
The list could go on and on. Toxic parents want complete control over their children in every aspect of their lives, and they are incredibly skilled at convincing people that everything they do is in the best interests of their children.
Types of toxic parents
● Parents who try to control their children
Are your feelings, decisions, or actions influenced by your parents? Do they have power over what you do or what job route you choose, even if it isn't what you want? You may have controlling parents if this is the case. When a parent becomes manipulative and begins to control their child's decisions, feelings, and actions to the point where the youngster feels helpless and without freedom, controlling becomes poisonous.
● Having unrealistic expectations for kids
Unrealistic parental expectations can put a lot of pressure on a child as they grow up. In terms of academics, this is the most common theme. Many parents desire the best for their children and want them to achieve academic success. These expectations, on the other hand, can be harmful. Have you ever been afraid of falling short of their expectations and disappointed them?
● Verbally abusive parents
There is now a distinction to be made between scolding and verbal abuse. Scolding is usually suitable when given to a misbehaving youngster in the form of helpful words, however, verbal abuse is usually not.
Scolding can take the form of "why haven't you studied for your upcoming test tomorrow?" You ought to be more knowledgeable.” While verbal abuse may come out as "are you stupid?" Why aren't you preparing for your upcoming exam? I didn't raise you to be a shirker and a waste of time.” Is it possible for you to tell me the difference between the two?
To elaborate, scolding can be a tool for discipline, but it can also be a form of constructive parenting. Verbal abuse, on the other hand, is a more harmful kind of communication. Some parents, on the other hand, may conflate the two by utilising verbal abuse as a form of constructive parenting.
● The parents who do not respect the privacy
The majority of individuals value their privacy. For some youngsters as they get older, privacy can aid in their self-discovery. Do your parents have a limited understanding of setting boundaries? If you feel suffocated when you're with your parents, it's possible you have an overbearing parent who is poisonous because they have no boundaries.
Do you ever have to lie to them or withhold key things from them? Because of the shortage of space, continual invasion of a child's private might produce discomfort and possibly a distant relationship between parent and child.
● The neglecting parents
The neglectful parent is the polar opposite of an invasive parent. Do your parents know very little about your day-to-day activities and rarely check on your academic progress? If they don't seem to be a part of your life very often, they may be careless of you. But, what are the ramifications?
Additionally, there could be more serious causes for their indifference. Parents who abuse drugs or alcohol are among the most common. For example, instead of purchasing school materials for their child, they spend their money on drugs or alcohol. These are serious because of the parent's likely addiction. It renders them incapable of raising a child in a proper and healthy manner.
Healing arises from a position of comprehension. I understand that “unlearning” the destructive patterns of behaviour that you were exposed to as a child can be challenging, but you can do it. You can finally detach yourself from your parents, improve yourself, and establish healthy boundaries.
● Become conscious of your genuine sentiments, attitudes, and behaviours toward your parents rather than using forgiveness as an explanation for why it didn't happen, grieve actively.
● Grief frees you up, helps you to recover, and allows you to make up for your lost childhood.
● Make it clear that you are not responsible for your parents' harmful behaviour.
● Allow yourself to be angry without passing any judgments.
● Talk to safe people about your anger, get more exercise, and utilise your anger as a form of self-definition to set your limits and boundaries.
● Allow yourself to be who you are and let your parents be who they are to gain emotional independence.
● Communicate early and often, and if necessary, confront your parents.
● Do it for yourself, not for them, if you choose to confront your parents.
● It is enough to simply have the courage to do it. What matters is how you respond, not how others react to the conflict.
● Break the loop by doing your best not to expose your own children to toxins.