Parental Gaslighting: How Parents Gaslight Their Children And Break Their Hearts

Parental Gaslighting

“You’re being too sensitive. There’s no need to overreact!”
“We are your parents. We know what’s good for you.”
“Having you was the biggest mistake of my life!”
“You’re lucky to have parents like us. Be more grateful!”
“We never hurt you! Don’t make up things in your mind.”

“I have given you an amazing life. You have nothing to complain about.”

Gaslighting is not just limited to romantic relationships, it can be done by narcissistic parents as well. Sounds heartbreaking and kind of unbelievable doesn’t it? Parents are supposed to protect and love you, not break your heart and make you question your sanity. Unfortunately, there are some who do exactly that – toxic parents gaslight their children to make them doubt their reality, and constantly feed them the narrative that as parents, they’re not doing anything wrong.

Parents CAN be abusive, toxic, and manipulative, and sometimes this can be hard to fathom because of the traditional parent-child relationship. Children normally look to their parents for guidance and emotional well-being, but when parents don’t care about that, and keep on gaslighting them, it changes their thinking and perception of what is normal and what isn’t.

Related: When Parents Offer Gaslighting Instead of Love: Surviving Your Own Mother and Father

What Is Parental Gaslighting?

Parental gaslighting is a kind of abusive and manipulation tactic where abusive parents deny doing anything wrong, and force you to question your own sanity and version of events. They know what they have done, and they know what you’re accusing them of is all 100% correct, but they will never own up to it. Instead, they will control your mind and will repeatedly try to convince you that you are “remembering it wrong” and “you don’t know what you are talking about”.

When parents gaslight their children, they psychologically, mentally, and emotionally destroy them and this can have a horrible impact on a child’s psyche. Children who have gaslighting parents grow up believing that they can never be right, and no matter what they do, they will never be good enough.

So, how do toxic parents gaslight their children actually? There are a few patterns that are always synonymous with gaslighting parents, and the more you know about them, the better you’ll be able to protect yourself and your mental health.

5 Ways Toxic Parents Gaslight Their Children

1. They deny all of their mistakes and pin everything on you.

Whenever you try to call them out on their mistakes, they deny it all and instead blame you for everything. Even if you wave proof of their negativity in front of their faces, they will keep on denying everything. Your parents will charge you with ‘Are you crazy?’ statements and will try to disregard everything you’re saying.

In their mind, they haven’t done anything wrong, and even in the rare cases that they do realize their mistakes, there’s no chance in hell that they will own up to it. They would rather make you question your own sanity than be accountable for their actions. Owning up to their behavior is something toxic parents find absurd, and hence, they never do.

Parental gaslighting
Parental Gaslighting: How Parents Gaslight Their Children And Break Their Hearts

2. They make you question your sanity.

If you have had a traumatic childhood because your gaslighting parents never cared about your emotions and mental health, then chances are that trauma is still haunting you today. Their actions and behaviors have had a massive impact on your psyche and emotional health, but whenever you try to talk to them about it, they don’t just dismiss it, they behave as if you had a perfect childhood.

They were never there for you when you needed their emotional support and understanding, and now as an adult, when you confront them about it, they make you question your reality. They do this by saying things like “What are you talking about? We were always there for you!” and “We provided you with everything. How can you even say something like this?”.

When toxic parents gaslight their children, they are not only invalidating their child’s feelings, but are also manipulating them into believing something that is not true.

Related: 20 Signs Of A Toxic Mother

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Alexandra Hall

Hi there! I am someone who is trying to navigate through life, one day at a time. Writing is my passion and my job, and I am happiest when I am writing. I love reading comic books, watching drama movies, playing with my dogs and generally lazing around. An introvert by nature, you can find me in the farthest corner of the room in every party, playing with the dog and having my own party.View Author posts

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