Toxic parenting happens when children experience stress at the hands of their parents. It could also occur when parents cannot protect their kids from a stressful environment.
Concerning this, toxic parenting involves physical, emotional, mental, or sexual abuse that could lead to mental health issues.
Toxic parents tend to build a negative and toxic environment at home. Experts say that these kinds of parents are more likely to put their needs first before their child. “They are more self-centred than other-centred,” the expert added.
They tend to use fear, guilt, and humiliation as a way of getting what they want and ensuring that their kids will fully obey them.
Children living and growing up with dysfunctional families can pose adverse effects on children that could last a lifetime. It could create fear, and guilt and leave their kids with emotional scars.
Recently, a forum thread encouraged adults to share their experiences growing up in a toxic household. We compiled their answers and came up with 21 examples of toxic parenting.
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Examples of Toxic Parenting From Kids Who Experienced It
Several toxic parents would never acknowledge that their parenting methods are inappropriate, hurtful, and could be damaging to their children.
Below, we compiled different accounts of children who grew up in dysfunctional families describing their toxic parents.
- Comparing your children’s mistakes and achievements to someone else’s.
- Invalidating or brushing aside your kid’s feelings and emotions. This also applies to making your children feel like they’re not supposed to feel certain emotions.
- Forcing your kids to beg forgiveness over something instead of explaining what they did wrong.
- Saying, “I wish you were dead.”
- Making them feel bad for sharing their opinions.
- Told them, “Nothing I do is ever good enough for you.”
- Judging them for talking about their problems.
- They keep secrets because you keep pointing out their flaws.
- You call them a liar if you find their stories unbelievable.
- Berating them for small mistakes.
- Criticising their tastes and hobbies.
- Discipline them with violence and shouting.
- Forcing them to apologise for accidents.
- Openly play favourites among your children.
- You ‘teach’ them with raised voices and criticisms.
- Making them feel bad for getting upset by responding, “I guess I’m just a bad parent.”
- Raising them to be more mature without considering their age.
- Forcing them to be independent when they request something from you.
- Denying privacy by going through their things without their permission.
- Using the excuse “I’m the adult” when they call you out for making mistakes.
- Gaslighting them.
Realising the Moments You Gaslight Your Kids
Not a lot of parents realise the moments they end up gaslighting their children. In truth, whenever you manipulate your children into following every you say is a form of gaslighting.
Toxic parents successfully gaslight their children by making them doubt themselves. Moreover, most kids don’t realise this until their adults because they grew up believing, that “only your parents know best.”
Believe it or not, parents who unintentionally gaslight their children also experienced this manipulative behaviour growing up. This form of manipulation helps most people take control of different situations. Additionally, the bad thing about taking control may not sit well with the people involved.
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Traits of a Toxic Parent
It is difficult to distinguish if you are becoming a toxic parent as you are already used to your parenting style. Meanwhile, your children could hardly tell you that you are becoming one out of fear.
Concerning this, it would be better to ensure that you do not have any traits that lead to a toxic parenting style. Here are seven signs and unhealthy traits of a parent that you should avoid:
You Indulge in Your Own Negativity
As a parent, even though you have your own struggles and insecurities, you must ensure that you are responsible for your child. One of your responsibilities is to police your negative works and actions towards your child.
You Limit Your Child Through Labels and Comparisons
Labelling or comparing your child to other kids could be a way of limiting them even without your knowledge. It would be essential to enforce freedom from them to be who they want themselves to be, with proper guidance.
You Try to Be Too Much of a Friend
As much as you want to be your child’s best friend, it would be best for you to set certain limitations. Never forget that no matter what happens, you are your child’s parent.
You Hinder Their Independence
Parent should never deprive their children of chances to get independence. At times, healthy parenting could mean taking a step back and letting them learn age-appropriate tasks.
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You Entrust Them With too Much, Too Soon
While you want them to learn independence, it is vital not to overlook the fact that your child might be too young for specific conversations or tasks.
You Do Not Respect Their Boundaries
A child needs to see and discover things on their own. With proper guidance, children need to grow and get to know themselves without any filter through what their parents would think.
You Think You Are Truly Listening, but You Are Not
Communication is not a one-way street. In a parent-child relationship, it would be to maintain communication by constantly interacting with one another.
Parents should never talk over their children. Do not interrupt them while they are trying to communicate with you. It would be better to allow your child to speak without trying to intervene and fix something.
Listen intently and thoughtfully before responding.
Republished with permission from theAsianparent Singapore.
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