According to psychologists and child behavior specialists, the difference between an ungrateful child and a child that has been a victim of a toxic influence can be more clearly seen.
Seth Meyers and Preston Ni, clinical psychologists, explain that the actions of the parents can ruin the lives of their children. Yet, raising children is a very difficult task and no one has the right to judge other people’s parenting style. However, there’s a fine line between mistakes that some parents make and the inappropriate behavior of toxic parents. Scroll down to check out what toxic situations can be harmful to our health and to the health of our children.
1. “Love me but be afraid of me”
The emotional attack is synonymous with love and attention for toxic parents. Kids know in what kind of a mood their parents are just by the sound of dropped keys or by the scrape of the footsteps in such families, and they live in a constant fear and apprehension.
2. “You must deal with adult problems but you still have no rights.”
Toxic parents share their responsibility with their children, for example, a child believes that it’s their “bad behavior” that makes their father drink so much alcohol to “calm himself down”.
In most of these families, children have no right to express their opinion, even when they are dragged into adult scandals.
3. “Try your best but don’t forget you ain’t special”
Narcissistic parents expect their children to perform at the highest level at everything, but even though, their children’s achievements are never enough. The life of a child can be easily ruined by disparaging comments, and they can grow up believing they are a disappointment to their parents.
4. “Open up to me but don’t be surprised at ridicule.”
Many toxic parents force their children to be sincere with them, and later they use that information against their children. The parents usually don’t see anything wrong with relatives, neighbors and other people knowing what’s going on with their children.
5. “You’re bad so don’t even try to become better.”
It’s easier to control the children when their self-esteem is low. Toxic parents very often discuss the failures and flaws of the child, and a child’s appearance is one of the touchiest subjects. Such parents install an inferiority complex in their children, which can be a huge problem later in their lives.
6. “Improve yourself and forget about your plans for the future.”
These parents want their children to succeed, but they don’t really care how they are actually going to do it. Narcissistic parents get excited about their children’s achievements only for 2 reasons: they will boast about their success so others will envy them, and because successful children guarantee a better life for the parents.
7. “Do what I tell you to, but blame yourself if you fail”
Parents treat their children like an object in this case. They make their own planes and they force their children to follow along. However, if the child fails, it’s never their fault.
8. “Go away but don’t leave me alone.”
Toxic parents never want their children to go, but they still point out that it’s their house, money, and food. They want their obedient children to stay by their side.
So, how to handle a toxic parent?
We must realize the following facts first:
1. We can’t change the past.
2. It’s impossible to cure a toxic relationship without any complication.
One must understand that he/she has their own rights and needs, and they shouldn’t be ashamed of them.
One has the right to:
Live in your own house and have your own rules.
Take no part in resolving issues of other relatives.
Limit access to your territory.
Gain your own experience and ignore your parents when they say “I know better.”
Manage your resources: money, time, and effort.
Choose your personal interests over those of your parents.
The rules are relevant for both parties, and children shouldn’t cut their parents out of their lives completely.