Most parents do their best to provide their kids with healthy and happy upbringing, but even they can unintentionally make mistakes that might lead to future therapy appointments.
Unluckily, some parents go beyond the occasional mistake and become highly toxic.
Young kids, even those with toxic parents, think that their parents are typical. Without any basis for comparison, they believe other families operate by the same dysfunctional rules as well as that everybody’s parents are controlling, unavailable or cruel.
But, emotionally healthy parents show true concern for their kids’ feelings, inspire them to chase their dreams, talk about problems in a respectful way, and apologize when they make a mistake.
10 Signs of a Toxic Parent and How They Damage Their Kids without Being Aware of It:
– They lash out when they are upset
Everyone is entitled to a minor slip-up or two when they are upset. However, it does not mean it is okay for parents to lash out over the smallest things, or to take their frustration out on their kids. Therefore, if they lash out, or call them names when they are mad, it is a sign that they are toxic.
– They fail to create a secure and supportive environment
Some parents think that giving tough love can teach their kids what the real world has become. Even though it may make the kids more independent, but it may also leave them with commitment issues or without healthy relationships later in life. But, it goes without saying that kids need affection and love. They need to have the security that regardless of what they do or say, their parents love them unconditionally.
– They criticize their kids’ every single move
Criticism is a go-to for toxic parents. It is the textbook scenario of parents that pick apart every little thing about their kids. Kids who hear nothing but critiques and who find that they cannot do anything right, according to their parents; it is a sign of their parents struggling with their own maturity.
– They do not allow them to express their emotions and thoughts
Kids lack the self-awareness and verbal ability to explain how they are feeling. So, they often cry out of anxiety, confusion, excitement, feat, frustration, anger, or happiness. But, toxic parents do not allow their kids to express their emotions or thoughts. Instead, they raise them with the “strong people do not cry” attitude. However, holding negative emotions inside and not talking about all types of feelings may result in physical and mental illnesses.
– They demand all the attention
Toxic parents want the attention of their kids. It often occurs when they are feeling upset or worried about something. Unluckily, most kids aren’t ready to deal with the responsibility of their parents’ happiness, nor should they be. Parents’ greatest responsibility towards their kids is to care for them, not the other way around
– They blame them for everything
Parents should be their kids’ rock — people they can turn to when they are feeling down. However, toxic parents struggle with it and they usually turn every conversation and problem around to make it about themselves. So, every conversation kids have with them ends with the kids feeling invisible, angry or guilty.
– They punish them all the time
Discipline and structure are important to a certain extent, but kids should never be afraid of their parents. If they are raised in an environment, that whatever that happens is their fault or they get punished all the time; they can become afraid to talk to their parents about anything. It may affect them later in life, because they may not be able to build and maintain healthy relationships with others.
– They are selfish
Toxic parents aren’t able to set aside their ego when arguing with their kids. They may give their kids the silent treatment until they beg for forgiveness. Toxic parents do not care about how their kids are feeling; they just care about how they are feeling. They “solve” almost each argument or problem with keeping their mouths shut. It is hard for their kids to deal with, since they aren’t able to understand why their parents are behaving that way. And that passive-aggressive behavior can only teach them unhealthy ways of communicating.
– They control them with money or gifts
When toxic parents give their kids money or gifts, they expect something in return. But, they should never try to buy their kids’ respect and love. They need to try to earn it in another way. They should never try to fix their mistakes with money or gifts, as well. They should admit when they are wrong and apologize for their mistakes.
– They ask them to keep secrets
Parents should not be friends with their young kids. But, toxic parents do not understand that regardless of how much they love their kids or how young they had them, until they are both mature adults, they can’t maintain a healthy friendship with their kids. It can be mentally damaging for one or both parties.
Thanks for reading!