Parents, they always want the best for us. Sometimes, however, the “best” isn’t always the best when you look at the big picture.
Often, parents can fall off the right path and start parenting in a nature that could be considered “toxic.” This is dangerous for the children at home, who eventually learn that such behavior is “normal” and may even mirror it or accept it from other peers. Children who grow up in toxic environments can suffer from feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression, and more.
If you’re wondering how to spot tell-tale signs of toxic parenting, keep reading.
They don’t respect boundaries
Parents who constantly invade their children’s privacy by going through their room, taking their stuff, and looking through their chats and personal conversations with other people are fostering an environment where trust cannot thrive. These parents feel that they have to monitor every aspect of their child’s life for a variety of reasons; they could be power-tripping, overbearing and overprotective, or just unwilling to trust their child for whatever reason.
If you find that your parent constantly deprives you of healthy boundaries, just know that it’s wrong.
There’s no room for dialogue
This is the most common trait of toxic parents. You’ll find that these kinds of parents will not allow dissent or any kind of “no” from their children. They expect that things will go their way always, because the child lives in their house. This effectively takes away healthy communication in the household and also discourages the child from speaking out to protect their interests.
Parents can curb any potential back-and-forth conflict by yelling at their children, disregarding anything they say, or simply ignoring them.
They rule with fear
Toxic parents love to confuse discipline with fear. They use fear to get the child to do what they want and to keep them from fighting back. It’s a type of power trip that, if unchecked, can lead to a child to develop feelings of angst, anger, regret, and other negative emotions.
The end result is usually a young individual who is unable to properly process their emotions in a healthy and mature way.
They guilt-trip and manipulate
Guilt-tripping and manipulating can sound very subtle. “I give you all these things, I provide for you, I can’t believe you…” or “How could you do this to someone who has raised you all your life?” are some common phrases you might hear from toxic parents. They make a point to always remind their children that everything they have comes from them, thus they cannot mess up or else it makes them “bad” kids.
This can happen in very blatant ways as well, but the main idea is that these kinds of parents want to maintain control over their child, physically and emotionally.
For toxic parents, it’s all about them. They figure that they’re the only ones who carry a heavy burden and that their children should be grateful to them for raising them. They also somehow always make the situation about them, ignoring the real issue behind parent-child conflicts.
Children of narcissistic parents will often find themselves feeling helpless, shameful, and with low self-esteem and confidence.