It’s a whole other ball game to be raised by toxic parents. These are the people who help mold you into the person you are.
I’m not sure if I had toxic parents, but I know one of them had similar traits. It was my father.
I loved my father just like all little girls loved and adored their daddy. But my father was different than some of the other kid’s fathers. He always seemed to draw attention to himself and also to my shortcomings. He also manipulated my mother, refusing to eat when he was mad.
So, who’s the toxic one here?
Toxic parents deal a great blow to their children. Their actions leave scars that are much deeper than toxic friends met along the way. In fact, the actions of toxic parents can send you into therapy after they are dead and gone, just being real with you.
So, here’s where we get to the real meat of the issue. Were you raised by toxic parents? I bet you never even considered the possibility. I bet you thought the fear of your parents that you still have, at the age of 35, seems normal, huh?
But wait! My son seems pretty scared of me too, and I just bribed him to take out the trash. Oh crap, does this mean what I think it does?
Well, surprise, it’s not normal to be afraid of your parents, and it’s also not normal to instill fear. And there may be many other things you haven’t thought about yet. Take a look at these indicators and see if you were the product of failed parenthood.
Better yet, do you have children of your own, and are you exhibiting toxic behaviors? This is how you will know.
Toxic parents have no boundaries
I grew up thinking it was normal when my father walked into my room and pilfered through my belongings. I thought it was normal when he opened my mail.
These things are far from normal, and they invade a person’s privacy. Children need to understand the importance of boundaries, and this is a direct action that teaches them that boundaries are not important.
Now, if you are a parent that’s used to bursting into your child’s room and looking through their phone, stop it! You are becoming what’s called, a toxic parent. Yes, that’s you! I’ve done this, and I am presently analyzing my parenting skills.
To children, they are scary
Healthy respect is not learned by using violent language or threats. It’s learned by keeping a level head and staying calm when passing down judgments or punishments. A parent who exhibits toxic behavior will scare their children. Even adult children will be afraid to do anything that might anger the toxic parent.
Are you scaring your children? If you notice them cowering away when you are angry, I’m sure you’re seeing just how frightened they are of what’s about to come. If you yell, throw things or make harsh demands, then you’re doing it wrong.
Toxic parents are children too
I think something happened to my father when he was a child because he never lost his victim mentality. I haven’t heard many stories of trauma or neglect, but something happens.
Many toxic parents were still children themselves and it’s because they had experienced childhood trauma or abuse, maybe it was just well hidden. These negative traits translate into feeling a loss of control.
In some cases, children will end up raising their parents as their parents attempt to raise them. Strange, isn’t it. For instance, a teenager, after acquiring her driver’s license, may be asked by her mother, to go places or run errands. She may be asked to pay bills even. And if the teen gets a job, the parent may even borrow money.
Toxic parents, never really grow up, and even their grandchildren may suffer later on. Have you been asking your adult child for money? Do you often make them get groceries for you or pay your rent? If you do, then shame on you.
They love to use guilt trips
A toxic parent will try to make you feel bad when you won’t do something for or with them. Whether it’s spending time with them, calling them or even doing something to help them out, they will make you feel like a bad kid.
You see, even children have things of their own that they need to do, like homework, for instance. But to a toxic parent, the needs of their children take second place.
If you’re the parent, stop making your child feel guilty for things. Don’t you know that children will be happier doing things for their parents and helping out if they are appreciated and not used.
They will ask you to lie for them
A toxic parent may ask you to lie for him. He may even require you to help him cover up the damage from his actions. If a parent has a drinking problem, he may ask his teenage son to drive him around and even hide alcohol from the other parent.
Trust me, I’ve seen this before. There are so many things that these parents do in order to keep an illusion of a healthy family while attaining their selfish desires.
You should never ask your child to lie for you, especially if it’s a lie that’s being kept from the other parent. This forces the child to use negative behavior and also places them in the middle of spousal problems. It’s just an all-around bad choice to make.
Toxic parents are critical of their children
It’s fine to let your child know when they’ve made a bad decision. It’s also important to warn them of something that could go wrong in the future. But using strong verbal admonishments will never get the point across and it’s also abusive.
A toxic parent will constantly criticize their child for things: “You can do better than that!”, “You should take better care of yourself.”, “You’re smarter than that.”
These things may be true, but they shouldn’t be repeated over and over in an angry tone. Toxic parents are also known to call their children dumb, irresponsible and messy. This should never happen and is extremely damaging.
Did you call your child a name lately? Did you criticize the way they cleaned their room? If so, you could be a toxic parent yourself. Make sure you pay attention to the words coming out of your mouth. Don’t you know that words have powers of manifestation?
Evaluate your actions and reminisce about the past. What have you learned?
I started out writing about toxic parents as I remembered my father. And yes, he was a bit toxic, I must say, now that I’ve thought it over.
But to my surprise, so am I. My children have endured some of the same childish behavior form me as well. I didn’t realize my bursting into my son’s room without knocking and criticizing him harshly for failing a subject in college was a form of toxic parenting.
I guess we all have a lot to learn from this, right? If you feel like you were raised by toxic parents or maybe you catch yourself repeating these behaviors, then stop and evaluate what’s really important.
In order to heal and become a good parent yourself, you must first keep something in mind. What our parents taught us might not be the healthiest form of raising a child.
It’s possible that a new way could raise better human beings. It’s worth a try at least, wouldn’t you say?