Toxic parenting

Toxic parenting

5 not so obvious behaviours that make you toxic at parenting

 We know how physical abuse and hurtful word are a how much affects children:

  • Remarks about their appearance and their body
  • Sarcastic and ironic remarks night be difficult even for adults to understand it
  • Telling children that they are a problem, or they are a problem are too different or you wish they could be like someone else.
  • Physical abuse

 These examples are the most obvious and we can all identify them.

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But what about the subtle things that end up penetrating in the psyche of the child. Those small things that end up building strong belief systems in children. Here is the list of not so obvious toxic parenting behaviours and the damage it crates in our children.

1. Talking trash with child about other people

“Look how she dresses” “What a stupid person” “How gross to do this” “This guy is disgusting”. Children have not established yet the parameters of good and bad. These remarks can do two things: makes them create bad and good identities of people. A system in their mind that differentiate humans. An idea that we are not all equally humans somehow. And second they copy their parent perception of good and bad. They don´t create their own idea about people.

2. Lack of intimacy

We think we are great parents when we give our children, shelter, food, clothing and possibility for education. But that is not enough? We must honestly open to our children, be vulnerable. Express our sadness and emotional needs and problems. Show them that openness is good. Hiding as a parent gives them the idea that they shouldn’t open either. Heart to heart talk. Conversations about emotions. Expressing the feelings of a bad day. Talk about personal challenges.

3. Abusive responsibility

Don´t get me wrong, I encourage parents to give children responsivities. That what helps them grow to become responsible adults. But the problem is when toxic parents give their children responsibilities which are not theirs. Like older brothers taking care of younger siblings, having an 8 years old participating in many extracurricular activities. Young children participating in high level competitions. Where they have to train or practice for 3 to 4 hours a day besides school hours. Making children clean the entire house with 7 or 8 years of age. Meanwhile these activities are not wrong in a nutshell, what I am referring to that is the child should be the person to choose what he or she wants to do. The key here is the choice. Not us forcing that into their life. What we achieve is that they will build a program in their mind that work is something being forced upon us. That responsibilities are force upon us. They are not choices.

4. Best friend parent

How many new parents in the last 10 years you heard saying “My mom is my best friend!” This viral idea called Mini Me.  If the child is my mini me that means I am number one and she comes second. She will be second in everything in life. She will never feel entitled of being first in anything, since that role is taken by mom. Being your child best friend is more damaging than we seem to admit. The parent that chose to be a friend instead of a parent, is just trying to run away from the huge responsibility and work that requires to be a parent. The child obliges de this role because of what they get instead, complete freedom. But the child doesn`t know yet that without boundaries, nor authority is very difficult to build a self-concept. To truly know who you really are. The child only lives in the shadow of their parent.

5. Overprotective parent

The cushion life. Parents that have suffered a childhood with an abusive or narcissistic parent tend to go on a tangent of extreme protection. In order to compensate the emotional trauma sometimes by not even allowing emotional conflict to occur. These are the obsessive parents that panic over a scratch or bruise on their toddler. Children should experience with life, other children, trees, nature, animals. Sadly, these children eventually become adult without any behavioral tool to use for the real world. The end result an adult with lack of self-empowerment and self-knowledge.

Leave me in the comment what do you think you do that might damage your children.

Read here about Toxic Femininity.

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