Forms of toxicity differ from person to person and from relationship to relationship. You may have had a toxic relationship with your parents as a child without even realizing it. When you grow up in a toxic environment, it becomes the norm and you rarely question it. Did you develop any insecurities growing up? Maybe you avoid making big decisions in your life because you don't think you're the best at it. Have you ever thought that your parents could be the reason for this? With the help of clinical psychologist Devaleena Ghosh (M.Res, Manchester University), who specializes in couples counseling and family therapy, let's take a look at these 15 signs of toxic parenting.
Who are the toxic parents?
"A toxic parent is usually someone who ignores boundaries and appropriates any age of a child. Another common toxic quality of parents is withholding love and imposing too many conditions on the child. You may also find that they invalidate or ignore your feelings," says Devaleena. It's inevitable that there will be days when parents will have an outburst or punish their child, sometimes quite unfairly. But in a healthy relationship, you often see the parents reconcile with the child, offer an explanation, and try to reconnect. . What are the characteristics of toxic parents? We'll tell you.
Selfish: Toxic parents are selfish, care very little about a child's emotional needs, and focus on discipline rather than education. Offensive: Toxic parents are often abusive. Insults and humiliation come easily to them, and they can also become physically abusive. Pushy: You have no idea of emotional boundaries and may keep pushing a child beyond the boundaries. Manipulators: They are controlling and manipulative and do not allow a child to make any kind of decision
John Mark Green said, "Toxic people cling to your ankles like cinder blocks and then invite you to bathe in their poisoned waters." Until you realize that cinder blocks weigh you down, you will never reach your full potential. By drawing parallels to her childhood and the signs of toxic parents, let's find out how healthy her home was and wasn't.
15 Signs You Had Toxic Parents
When all the decisions in life are made by your parents, it's easy to understand why you might not be very confident. If you grew up with toxic parents, you probably didn't realize something was wrong in your family until you were staying at a friend's house and nobody was yelling at anyone. Devaleena tells about the most common signs. “One of the most common signs of toxic parents is emotional imbalance. They constantly exaggerate or create their own drama and tend to dump their burdens on you. “They are always self-centered and don't think about their needs or feelings. Without exception, your needs come first, regardless of how you might be feeling. One of the most common toxic traits in parents is to criticize harshly and go out of their way to gain control of their child. "Let's take a look at the things that might indicate hostile and unhealthy family dynamics.
1. Home Wasn't Her "Visit Place"
Whether returning from school/college or resting after a hard day's work, home was not her sanctuary but a feared place. The people who stayed in it made it difficult for you to consider this place your "calm after the storm". It was the storm and a place to get away from. As one of the subtle signs of toxic parenting, you may have noticed that a lot of negative energy seeps into your home once a parent enters. If you talk to them, you can be sure that a confrontation is about to happen. Healthy family dynamics involve arguments, not arguments.
2. Independence? What is that?
You were free to hang out with your friends, but at a set time determined by one or both of your parents. "Gaining control of the child is the most important thing for a toxic parent," says Devaleena. “Giving simple instructions on behalf of good parents is the best form of control. They immediately ignore each other's ability to make better decisions. Ultimately, every child must learn to make their own decisions and deal with the consequences,” she adds. To the outside world you were an independent child, but nothing would happen without your parents' consent. You never considered yourself independent, as even the smallest things required you to seek approval or discuss with your parents, after which the action would bear fruit.
3. You've always been the low-confidence kid
Because of your dependence on your parents as mentioned in the point above, you lacked belief in yourself. All the kids in your class jumped out and tried things for the first time, participated in activities they had never done before, and much more. But you never thought you could do it all and you underestimate yourself all the time. That doesn't mean you're not a confident person now as an adult. But these are signs that you grew up with toxic parents. One of the biggest effects of toxic parenting is the development of confidence and self-doubt.
4. Your parents had to be your priority
Your parents would be the focus of all your discussions. Her needs and wants came before the children of the house, and it was always clear that everything else would fall into place if her needs were met. Your parents came first instead of you coming to yourself first. Of all the 15 signs of a toxic parenting, this one probably stands out to you the most. Parents have instilled in children that they are the priority. You might even get into emotional blackmail and have outbursts when you want to stay at a friend's house. Sound familiar?
5. You were the maturity in the relationship
Without holding grudges, you would consider their needs your number one priority and work to satisfy them instead of whining that their wishes went unanswered. Devaleena tells us why toxic parents overreact to their problems. “They treat their children as objects of their manipulation and not as people to whom they need to show love and tenderness. They may also have had difficult childhoods or come from typically dysfunctional families where their own emotional, social, or even physical needs were not met. Wishes never came. You can never make a wish or throw tantrums on your birthday. That's what they did when things didn't go according to plan.
6. Ever heard of parents sabotaging their relationships?
Because they would have become so used to your presence and that you would succumb to everything they say and do so much that consciously or unconsciously they would make their other relationships not work. There was always a pattern that you never noticed. Whenever you bring a partner home, your relationship with that person will sour soon after. Why this? Looking back, could your parents have played a key role?
7. Your parents were always the center of attention
Like it or not, this is the case in most cases. You can say goodbye to what you want to talk about or even your needs and desires. What your parents want to talk about is always the focus. They indicate what they want to talk about, what they want for dinner, where they want to vacation, and so on. And you would end up agreeing because they may have made you feel guilty by then. Years later you realize that your parents never knew what your favorite food was or the restaurant you liked to go to because they always chose it for you. These are signs that you grew up with toxic parents.
8. You've been criticized more than praised
Even when you made an effort to do something extremely important or a nice gesture, you always found mistakes or focused on things that didn't go down well. It might even be one of the signs of toxic parents in adulthood since you will never see them very happy with their career. Newsletter could easily have gotten to them. And when you've made a decision for yourself and it went wrong, you already knew that an endless series of "I told you so" was coming your way.
9. You were the punching bag and the laughing stock
From a bad day to your mom's PMS, it all fell on you. These are signs of a toxic mother. You've had to bear the brunt of anything bad or wrong, and you're also the one who gets laughed at at parties with your friends. It's a sign of disrespect, but in a way it would make them feel good. You might end up thinking things like, "My parents suck, they don't even respect me," but in the end they will trick you into thinking that they are the best thing that could have happened to you. They're probably telling you about all the things they've done for you since you were growing up and how to be profusely grateful to them.
10. They are neither heard nor spoken
If you grew up with toxic parents, chances are you weren't involved in any decision-making at home. In some cases, we often see that parents decide their children's careers as well. This may have left you feeling ignored, unable to make decisions and disrespected in your own home. Living with toxic parents can be very difficult at times. Because being ignored all the time isn't easy to deal with, and it has no emotional connection to boot.
11. Your space is always within reach
Of all the different types of toxic parents, the most common trait you will find is that they do not understand boundaries or personal space. You think you're in your room until you open the door to see your parents trying to eavesdrop on your phone conversations with your friends. His door was never to be closed and there was no such thing as "alone time". “Parents of teenagers often encroach on their children's lives and property under the pretense of cleaning their rooms. They call it 'being informed about what their child is doing,' but a toxic parent does this habitually and often long after the early teens,” says Devaleena.
12. Bribery to control you
No one would think that your parents are toxic with the amount of love they pour over you in the name of gifts and money. It's actually a very subtle way of controlling yourself and your actions. These are often the signs of a toxic parent when co-parenting after a divorce. He might give you lavish gifts, mainly for two reasons: so you don't take up too much of his time and stay by his side and carry out his orders. One of the most common things toxic parents say is something along the lines of "I bought you everything you wanted, don't talk to me" to gain control.
13. Take you away from your goal
They make other things so important and ask you to focus on them so much that your ambitions take a back seat. You would never blame them or think they were responsible, but that's exactly what they do. They would make you do what they want you to do. Toxic parents will make you miss swim practice and focus on the things they want you to do. This usually leads to much unhappiness for the child who may end up doing what their parents forced them to do. This is what happens when you grow up with toxic parents.
14. All children are afraid of them
They are not good with children and in fact children are afraid of them. Their mere presence frightens them. You and your friends know that you're not the "let's talk about it" type and prefer to talk about important issues with your friends' parents. You feel like breaking up with your toxic parents, but you're so scared of them you feel like they'll never let you go. You want to escape to university or get a job in another city but they always manage to pull you out.
15. Never a grown up for your parents
That applies to most parents. You will always be a child to your parents, but with toxic parents you never grow up and therefore cannot participate in the decision-making process or have strong opinions on anything that is important to them or the family. The only way out is acceptance. Once you know that you had a toxic childhood and that growing up with toxic parents defines your current characteristics, it will help you make tangible changes in your existing confidence and much more. Spread more smiles and make people aware of what can help them stop being toxic, if anything, and educate people about the stifling relationships they find themselves in because of toxic parents.