Parents often try to do their best to give their children a healthy
life and a happy upbringing. However, there is no written handbook for good parenting that parents can follow. Sometimes, parents may knowingly or
unknowingly make mistakes that may affect the mental well-being and emotional
health of their children. When such occasional oversights become a habit, it
results in toxic parenting.
|Effect of toxic parenting on kids|
Toxic Parenting Explained
In a situation wherein, the behavior pattern among parents hurts the psyche of their
children repeatedly, then parents are raising their kids with toxic parenting. Such patterns evoke
feelings of sadness, guilt, obligation, or fear among young minds. Eventually,
several behavioral patterns of the parents, even though unintentional, may
cause mental trauma and emotional stress in children leaving long-term negative
Toxic parenting includes:
● lack of empathy
● never apologizing
● never discussing a situation with kids
● use of abusive language
● display of controlling behavior
● Invalidating emotions of a kid
● Not respecting personal boundaries
● Passive aggression
Apparently, the family abides by dysfunctional rules that adversely
affect the kids.
|Signs of Toxic Parenting|
Effects of Toxic Parents
Toxic parents may have long-term and often irreversible
effects on the mental, psychological, and emotional development of a child. It
is just not bad parenting but
it is toxic in nature as it is damaging in nature, leaving behind emotional
scars on children.
Many parents who suffer from a mental or psychological issue, pass them
on through generations via toxic
parenting. They exemplify a dysfunctional coping mechanism reflected via
toxic behavior with their kids. As a result, children may experience emotional
and mental stress when dealing with different situations.
Here is how toxic parenting affects kids:
Children Never Feel Secure
Tough love often seems to be a go-to rule for parenting, and many
people believe that the approach leaves a positive impact on life. However,
children with such an upbringing often feel insecure and bewildered when
dealing with perceived failure or rejection.
Children Turn Overcritical of
Highly toxic parents often criticize everything done by their
children. Eventually, the kids develop a despotic inner critic that may cripple
their adulthood. Some children often lack confidence. And may deter them from taking responsibility. Such
children keep second-guessing their efforts and are never confident about their
Such Kids Refrain from Expressing Negative Emotions
Toxic parents neglect the emotional needs of a child. As a
result, the kid feels uncomfortable expressing emotions to anyone. Over
time, the child turns depressive and may not appropriately handle a negative
situation, even as an adult.
Remember, children need to feel connected, loved, supported, and
nurtured to grow into happy adults. So, look out for the signs of toxic parenting to replace them with healthy parenting
Telltale Signs of Toxic
More often, toxic parents
respond unknowingly under the influence of emotional or mental stress or an
underlying health issue. Despite the reason, here are telltale signs of this extremely bad parenting:
Display of Self-Centered Behavior
Many times, parents behave selfishly, especially when they are
self-absorbed. They are so involved with their preoccupations. They either do
not give enough time to their children or become emotionally detached. Such a
behavior evolves into unloving nature where they fail to understand the
expectations of their children.
Tendency to React Emotionally
Some toxic parents react
aggressively while expressing their emotions. While it is essential to express
emotions, it is paramount to evaluate the situation and react appropriately. In
turn, toxic moms often turn dramatic
and exaggerate their emotions. Such an unpredictable temperament drives
children into hiding things from their parents. Children of such parents often
The practice of Controlling Behavior
Children need to be loved, not controlled. However, highly toxic parents cannot
differentiate strictness from controlling behavior. Controlling parents try to
command their children about minutiae things. Consequently, kids try to follow
instructions like robots and eventually lose their identity. Instead, they
should implement house rules in an organized, orderly, and restricted manner.
Emotionally Abusing the Kids
Sometimes, parents joke about their children making embarrassing
remarks about their behavior. Frequent arguments, name-calling, and physical
abuse create a wrong impression on the children. It affects their mental and
emotional health. Likewise, yelling and screaming indicate something is wrong
with the family members.
Manipulating the Child
Parents often try to twist facts before presenting them to their
children, intending to gain consent on something. Such manipulative behavior
may avoid the phase of denial. Sometimes, it helps in achieving a goal but is
highly toxic and not a healthy parental practice.
Never Satisfied with Child’s Achievements
Toxic parents never show a gesture of joy or satisfaction no
matter what their kids achieve. Instead, they tend to point out the
shortcomings. They find faults in every endeavor the child pursues. However,
when parents encourage kids for their small achievements, they tend to work harder
next time. Moreover, they learn to value their efforts in everything they do in
How to Appreciate your Child?
Hiding Things from Children
Kids do not always stay small. Children become more responsible beings
when parents involve them in important matters and value their opinion or
consent. They learn to believe their decisions. Nonetheless, toxic parents make
decisions all by themselves and believe their decisions are correct for their
children. Further, they hide traumatic situations from their family.
More Toxic Parents Signs
That People Don’t Realize
|Do not ignore signs of toxic parents|
Sometimes, it is difficult to tell right away if children are dealing
with toxicity in a parent-child relationship. The form of toxicity differs for
different people. Moreover, when a toxic environment becomes a norm in a
family, people seldom realize it, let alone question it.
However, children with toxic parents often feel indecisive in making
big life decisions. They frequently sense insecurity while taking up
responsibilities. Here are some more signs
of toxic parents that people may not realize:
● One of the prime toxic parents’ signs is the negative energy the children feel while
entering the house as soon as parents walk in. Every communication feels like a
confrontation or argument with toxic parents because they neither discuss nor
● Toxic parents instruct their children to make
every decision, however small. They never respect the independence of their
● Children of toxic parents are so dependent that
they lack faith and confidence in taking responsibility or trying new things.
They never participate in new activities and constantly underestimate
themselves. Toxic parents inculcate insecurity issues as a personality trait by
belittling their children.
● Toxic parents try to be the center of every
discussion. They put their needs and wants over their children. Such parents
may even emotionally blackmail or display outbursts to show the priority in
their children’s lives. They constantly make their kids put their needs as the
● Toxic parents criticize their children every
time for one thing or the other. They always focus on flaws and things that
didn’t work. In extreme cases, such parents even body shame or criticize a lot
for making bad decisions.
● Moreover, toxic parents are cynical and never
respect the opinion of the child. Eventually, the child goes unheard and
unspoken. As a result, the child feels ignored, disrespected, and incapable of
● Lastly, one of the classic signs of toxic parents is that they
treat their kids like their go-to punching bags. If anything goes wrong in
their lives, they directly take it out on their kids one way or the other.
All these toxic parenting practices, whether done knowingly or
unknowingly, put kids through a perplexing mental conundrum. Such an upbringing
may have a long-term influence on their personality development. However,
identifying these signs is the first step toward breaking the cycle of toxic parenting.
Related Post- 5 Things to Avoid in your Child’s Presence
How to Transform
Parenting Practices into Positive Parenting?
Once toxic parents identify
the signs of bad parenting, they can
rectify and replace them with positive discipline to nurture their kids more
positively. Here are some effective tips for positive parenting to raise happy kids:
Identify the Reasons for Misbehavior
Children often misbehave for a reason, no matter how silly it may
sound. Positive parents try to address the cause and get to the core of an issue
before reacting to a situation. It establishes a close parent-child relationship, which is essential for the effective brain development of a
Be Respectful, Kind, And Firm
|Positive Parenting Tip- Listen and respect your child|
Children mimic their elders. So, when toxic parents yell and humiliate a child, they react the same way
when upset. On the contrary, when parents are kind and respectful, children
learn to handle difficult situations with respect and composure. However, being
kind doesn’t mean being permissive. Parents should set healthy boundaries for
their children and enforce them firmly and kindly.
Practice Gentle Discipline
Positive parents implement positive solutions to ensure
effective discipline. They focus on teaching positive behavior without
punishing the negative ones. They clearly and consistently explain the results
of violating limits. And stick to their word too.
Moreover, they understand those toddler tantrums are a part of growing
up and choose positive parenting strategies to redirect their actions.
Make Parent-Child Interaction A Learning Opportunity
Good parents turn the situation into a lesson to solve
problems when a child misbehaves. They introduce the natural consequences and
help a child understand alternative ways to express and resolve a situation.
Ensure One-on-One Time with Kids
Positive and conscious parents understand the importance of spending time
with their kids. They play games, listen to their kids, and appreciate their
small achievements. It provides positive attention and establishes a firm
Positive parents establish defined routines for schooltime,
bedtime, and mealtime. They involve their kids in deciding upon the routines.
They even let them contribute to everyday activities. Besides, they encourage
their kids to find solutions to everyday problems on their own. Positive parents clearly state family
rules and any consequences for breaking them.
Support and Professional Help
Sometimes the parents who practice toxic parenting require help themselves. The very first step into
positive parenting is realizing that they need help. Once they identify the
issue in their psyche, they can proceed on a healing journey for themselves and
They can consult with an online counselor to decipher their feelings
and work on their family dynamics. If the idea of an online counselor sounds
overwhelming, they can confide in an unbiased listener and seek help to get
over the situation.
Gradually, professional help and family support can turn the toxic
parenting traits into a more delightful parenting experience for their kids and
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