Growing up with a toxic parent can have far-reaching consequences on a child’s psyche, even when they grow up to be adults.
When your childhood is enmeshed by a toxic parent and you fail to realize it.
Most parents genuinely do their best to provide their children with a healthy upbringing but oftentimes these very individuals may make mistakes. Parenting is a tricky job and its mostly based on intuition and instincts.
Unfortunately, some parents go beyond the occasional mistake and veer into the toxic category.
Regardless of whether or not a parent is purposefully being toxic, there are a number of behaviors on the parents’ part that leave a considerable psychological and emotional scar on the child. This invariably hampers the overall mental health of the child as he/she steps into adulthood.
If you experienced any of the following situations as a child, the odds are high that one or both of your parents were at least slightly toxic.
1. They Fail To Provide You With Affirmation And Security.
Some people believe that showering careless love is an important way to ensure that their children become self-reliant and are able to take care of themselves in the future.
If you were the recipient of this approach of parenting on a regular basis, you might have been tricked to believe that this was the behavior you deserved or the treatment meant for your betterment.
If you apparently fall apart now because of any perceived failure or rejection, then this most likely stems from a parent’s toxic inability to provide you with the necessary amount of security, containment, and affirmation while you were young.
Tough love might work sometimes, but it cannot be the only approach a parent takes if they want their child to have an overall wholesome future.
2. They Are Overly Critical.
Parents should occasionally involve in appraising their children with feedback about their actions.
Without this component, we might never learn how to do numerous things in the correct way, such as everyday chores like washing laundry, cooking food for ourselves, ironing clothes, organizing our personal stuff, etc.
A toxic parent takes this to extremes by being overly critical about everything their child does. Even trivial mistakes on the parts of the children will bring about grim consequences.
These criticisms can have distinct faces – some through poisonous verbal abuse in the form of insults, explicit, harsh facial expression and neglectful body languages.
This technique will only backfire for some children will eventually commit graver mistakes and some children will end up feeling miserable about themselves, slipping into self-loathing.
Parents can make the mistake of believing that they do this to make sure their children avoid making costly mistakes.
Unfortunately, what this behavior really does is causing the child to develop a detrimental inner conflict that can be borderline crippling during adulthood.
3. They Demand Your Attention.
Toxic parents often turn their children into their own parental substitutes and dumping grounds for their own frustrations by demanding their attention at all times.
This can be seen as bonding between the parent and child, but in actuality, it is a parasitic relationship that requires too much of the child’s time and energy when they should be focused on learning other skills.
Although it may be difficult at times, a pragmatic parent will allow their children enough space to grow without demanding constant interactions from them to suit their own needs.
4. They Make Toxic “Jokes” About You.
All parents occasionally pick on their children, but when the so-called jokes become a nasty satire meant to insult or demean their children, this can be a huge problem.
You do not need to accept this type of behavior just because your parent has always joked about something such as your height or weight.
Ultimately, this is an undermining tactic that will make you feel small about yourself. If a parent has a legitimate concern to address with their child, they should be honest and non- critical as opposed to being sarcastic.
5. They Cause You To Justify Terrible Behavior.
Did you grow up believing that your parent was physically or emotionally abusive to you because you deserved it?
If yes, then you still must be justifying awful behavior from others at your own cost.
Toxic parents can twist every situation, facts to their advantage and this leaves children with two choices: accept that their parent is wrong or feel powerless and internalize all of the blame.
In most cases, children, even those who are adults now, choose the latter option. They believe that some characteristics or actions on their part must have instigated their parents to become so enraged.
This mindset only hampers their self-image and their developing self-esteem. They assume that they are worth the worst of behavior from their parents.