There are parents out there who are mind controlling and manipulative and others that are less-restrictive and easy come and go. Despite many approaches to parenting, parents want to ensure their children have the best.
However, some fall very short in supporting and being a model to their children. Its normal for parents to make mistakes from time to time, and there is no guidebook to how to raise your kids, but some mistakes can appear larger than life and can leave a devastating impact on your child and their mental wellbeing.
See if your parents made these mistakes in exhibiting any of these errors when raising you. If you are currently a parent, avoid these 13 behaviors as they can permanently damage your child.
13 Signs Of A Toxic Parent
1. FAILING TO CREATE A SECURE AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT
Some parents view tough love as the way to desensitize their kids to the reality we live in. This may bring on independent skills but will instill commitment issues and a lack of close, intimate relationships later in life.
We all need some form of emotional intimacy in our lives, and we need that form of emotional security, no matter the words or actions we say and do, but love us unconditionally. This provides us with the ability to have courage in trying out new things and finding out who we are. Mistakes are meant to be learnt from, not repeated. Tough love isn’t the worst, but it shouldn’t be your go-to approach at first.
2. CRITICIZING THEIR CHILD’S EVERY MOVE
Parents want their children to have the best, but when you explain how wrong they are can be detrimental. Too much negativity can deprive the child of confidence and motivation to pursue new things. Children should make mistakes and learn from them. Parents should be aware of that. Having an overactive judgment over your kids every move will hurt them in the long term. Instead, balance out the amount of negative/positive feedback you give to your children.
3. DEMANDING ALL THE ATTENTION
A toxic parent will think their child owes them everything after having to raise them and be around them for long amounts of time. What they don’t understand is that their kid has his/her own life and will eventually reach out. You cannot force a relationship, even when it involves a child and a parent.
4. MAKING HURTFUL JOKES
Similar to emotionally abusive relationships, pointing fingers at your kids and laughing at them is harmful to their self-esteem and confidence. If you are a parent, avoid mocking your child for how they look or behave. If the concern is valid, talk to your child with a mature conscience and in private.
5. BLAMING IT ALL ON THE KID
Some parents will make accusations against their kids for the ways they treat them. If your parents were emotionally and/or physically abusive, it isn’t your fault, even if they made you feel like you were the culprit behind their act. Children look up to their parents as a role model, so this can seriously damage a child’s mental wellbeing. Thinking you deserve the abuse actually lowers your self-value, and enables you to accept that behavior by normalizing it through other relationships.
6. NOT ALLOWING TO EXPRESS THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS
We all are prone to good and bad times in life, and its wise to be open and expressive in how you feel, rather than hold it all inside to make things worse. Having open-minded conversations can work well in preventing physical and mental illnesses. It isn’t healthy to implement restrictions on thoughts and emotion as it can cause issues later in life.
Showing emotion helps to enable the child to be more empathetic, loving and nurturing later in life, and to keep negative emotions in constant check. When emotions are bottled up, it can cause depression as well as loneliness. If you are a parent, make sure you suggest your child to be expressive of their emotions.
7. BEING SCARY AND FRIGHTENING
It’s okay to incorporate some discipline and structure to a degree, but your child shouldn’t be afraid of you and your shadow. If raised in an environment like this, where everything is their fault and they are punished constantly, then they start to withdraw and fear explaining anything to you. This behavior prompts the child to remain distant from you, withholding any form of closeness. There is a huge distinction between fearing your parents and respecting them. Its imperative that a child is able to come to you for advice and be able to hold a conversation with you on important matters.
8. THINKING ONLY ABOUT THEMSELVES
A child’s thought and opinion does matter and a parent, being smarter and all, should be inclusive with their children on making family decisions. Going on vacation or to dinner, a child should be able to have a choice. If you choose against their wishes, be sure to let them known in a calm manner why you made that decision.
9. WANTING TO FULFILL THEIR DREAMS THROUGH THEIR KID
Forcing your child to do things you like is harmful to them. Example, don’t force your son into football because you were some star quarterback on the field or force your daughter to be a cheerleader because you were a cheer captain. Your child is their own person and has his/her own ideas and thoughts. So, let them make their own decisions and go after their dreams.
10. CONTROLLING THE KID WITH MONEY AND GUILT
Parents should never expect their children to give when they reward them with gifts and money. Don’t purchase the love and affection of your children, and instead earn it through constructive means. Fixing any mistakes with gifts or money will only brush things under the rug. It is essential that you hold yourself accountable and apologize as actions are louder than words.
11. GIVING SILENT TREATMENT
When you give your child the cold shoulder, it rubs off poorly on the child, and they will pick that up and will lack communication skills needed to solve conflicts. This is a passive-aggressive method of communicating and this is unhealthy. Conflict resolution skills are imperative to a Child’s functioning ability in life, and without these skills, they will promote unease in their lives all too easily. The silent treatment is ineffective and is emotionally abusive to a child.
12. IGNORING BOUNDARIES
If respect is wanted from a parent, they have to reciprocate it as well. That means boundaries and agreements are meant to be followed by you too. If your child isn’t cordial, then how do you expect them to be? Also, provide them with some form of independence and privacy. A perfect example would be to knock on their door before entering their room, especially with teenagers.
13. MAKING THEIR KIDS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR HAPPINESS
Don’t be that parent who talks over and over about how much they sacrificed for their kids and how they should be slaves to your happiness and comfort in life. It was your choice to spread your legs and procreate, so deal with it and be mature.
Your children are YOUR responsibility, and it isn’t right to impose yourself on your children as they have a life and cannot support you and entertain you 24/7. Be a blessing, not a burden to your children because they will begin to distance from you. If you feel unhappy, take initiative and stop placing blame on your children. We all are in control of our happiness and it important we work on it.
Many methods of parenting can provide negative and toxic benefits to kids that carry on into their future. It leaves a permanent scar in their mind and heart which can damage future relationships. Be the parent you would want and give your children some form of security with space. Be open to their feelings and give them choices instead of obsessing over their options and them.
Let your kids learn from their mistakes and always be their best support system. Doing these things can help your children become healthy individuals with great intentions, because they had you and your positive influence!