It’s possible that strict disciplinary actions your parents used were not normal. Maybe you had a controlling mother? This is how you know.

If you were raised like I was, you weren’t allowed to do much on your own. Going on dates, even after the age of 16, was just not something I got to do, unlike most of the other kids. In fact, almost every move that I made was dictated and monitored as If I was in prison.

Many people see this as normal, tough-loving parental duties, but the truth is….it can be seen as something more.

In fact, I know now that when my mom refused to let me play with other kids, she was actually being a controlling mother. This is not a normal personality trait.

Was this your childhood?

Was it almost impossible to go to sports events, parties, or even town festivals? Did your mother remind you that a “good child” stays at home and does chores instead of running around town?

I bet you’ve heard these things before, and maybe it reminds you of the Stephen King movie, Carrie, where the teenage daughter was kept locked at home in fear of sin and damnation. Yes, it was a horror movie, but sometimes these true life events can be even worse.

Were you raised by a controlling mother?

Although you may be an adult now, you remember all the little strange habits of your parents, and you especially remember their ways of discipline, I am sure.

Even now, your mother could still be exhibiting controlling actions, trying to rule over you as if you are still a child.

Here are the ways to tell if you were raised by a controlling mother:

1. Violations of privacy

I bet you never considered a violation of privacy to be controlling, now did you? I remember that my mother had a terrible problem with respecting my privacy. There was nothing that got past her roving eyes.

When a letter came in the mail addressed to me, she opened it, she went through my books and even my personal belongings anytime she wanted to, and she even checked up on my whereabouts when I was able to leave.

A huge sign of having a controlling mother is definitely the lack of privacy. There are just no boundaries that she will not cross.

2. Perfectionism and pressure

I remember when my mother bragged about how much she loved my cousin and wanted me to be like her. She told me that I should strive to do the things that my cousin did and to try and improve my grades to reflect more of the same intellect as my cousin.

I was so disgusted to hear my cousin’s name that after a while, and I started to block her words entirely.

A controlling mother will exhibit signs of pressured perfectionism. She will set standards that she observes from other people or places and push you to achieve what she thinks is mandatory for you to have a successful life.

She rarely ever approves of your hopes and dreams if they aren’t in line with what she wants.

3. She is never wrong

There are no mistakes and no room for being wrong when it comes to your controlling mother’s attitude. No matter how many good points you may try to bring up in a discussion, she will talk down to you. This even happens when you are an adult child as well.

You could be a  30-year-old woman or man, reading this right now, who still struggles with their controlling mother.

Unfortunately, many mothers with this issue will never admit their wrongs, and it’s a waste of time-fighting from your standpoint. A controlling mother realizes that being wrong is relinquishing control, and she just can’t have that happening in any given situation.

4. Criticizes constantly

It really goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. A controlling mother will never be satisfied until you do things her way. If you remember being criticized for the clothes you wore or the way you talked, then your mother tried to control you.

Many older adults will insist that they just wanted the best for their children, when in fact, they were just trying to control every facet of their lives. It’s almost as if they are living vicariously through their children, which is creepy, to be honest.

4. Manipulation

It’s not just partners in relationships and friends who can manipulate you, oh no. Even mothers are quite adept at using manipulation strategies to always be on top. Now, this is a little different from being critical or always wanting to be right, this is more or less a pure form of control.

When mothers are manipulative, they will let you think that you are in control, when in effect they are playing the background, nudging you in the desired direction with deception and lies.

One word or one movement is all a controlling mother needs in order to get you to do what she wants. The guilt involved in these manipulation tactics is so complicated and precise that it takes a truly intelligent person to figure out what is going on.

If you think she’s happy about you pursuing your dreams after she previously hated it, think again. She’s probably got something up her sleeve that will make you give up the dream forever, so you better be strong enough to fight back.

5. Rules, limits, and discouragement

Have you ever met someone who told you how long you should grieve or be upset? Well, I have. This is one way to recognize controlling behavior, that when you experience something traumatic, you are told that you have “cried enough”.

Oh, what a crock of ….well, you get my drift. A controlling mother will want to control your emotions by setting limits on sadness, rules for grief and even discourage you when you want to spend time alone.

She will be hell-bent on pushing her objectives and trying to make you mirror the way she responds to trauma and death. Many times, a controlling mother will rely heavily on tradition and how her mother before her perceived these things. The truth is, your grandmother may have also been a controlling mother.

How can you deal with all this?

If you are an adult now, you have the power to control yourself. You no longer have to listen to the dictatorship of your controlling mother. I know, this is easier said than done when you love someone. The truth is it will take some time to formulate an effective strategy for learning to live in these conditions.

The good news is, you are grown up now, and at least you have the choice of getting away from the behavior at some point. Here are a few quick tips to attempt your break from the controlling mother.

If your mother is willing to listen, try educating her on what’s she’s really been doing.

I know that when my son told me that I was controlling, I first got angry. Then, after thinking about it for a while, I considered that he could be right. I analyzed myself and have been trying to be fairer to him.

If she is unwilling to listen, you will have to put some distance between you two.

The reason for this is that her controlling behavior can ultimately damage you and cause problems if you have a family of your own now. Whether she is willing to understand or not, you sometimes have to make these hard decisions for your own well-being.

Ask for help from other family members, especially those who have reached the same conclusion about your mother.

Siblings are the best choice, in that they probably experienced much the same treatment while growing up. Maybe together, you can make a larger impact on your mother’s thinking.


If all else fails, then just make sure you are partaking in plenty of mindfulness. Although things may not be going as you wish, you must still seek out your own peace. Promoting good energies sometimes had miraculous effects.

Don’t give up!

Most of all, don’t give up. There is always the possibility of change. If you are able to get your point across and insist on change for your life, then you could see things take a turn for the better. Let’s hope so anyway.

Do you have a controlling mother?


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