Most parents try to do their best to provide a healthy life for their children and ultimately raise them to become good human beings.
However, even they can make accidental mistakes that may result in future problems.
Sadly, some parents even go beyond the occasional mistake and veer into toxic territory. No matter if a parent is being toxic on purpose, there are a number of behaviors that can cause so much emotional and mental damage to a child that it ends up greatly affecting them even after they’ve become adults.
If you have experienced any of the following situations as a kid, it is likely that one or both of your parents had at least some toxic characteristics:
1. Their feelings always come before yours
A good parent will have in mind every member of the family when making decisions. The toxic one, on the other hand, will only think about the way a decision will affect them.
If you can instantly recall numerous instances of a parent disregarding your needs to please themselves, then that is definitely a red flag.
2. They know no boundaries
They don’t care about your personal space and don’t want to accept the fact that you are a grown person who is completely separate from them. They demand to know about your private life, they intrude in your personal space, check your messages or mail, come over unannounced, offer uncalled for advice, and undermine you as a parent.
3. They use guilt as a method of control
A little bit of guilt-tripping is part and parcel of normal parenting, but too much of it is a big issue. A narcissist parent is bent on dominating their children. They want to control what they do and will do everything in their power to make sure they manage to do so.
If a parent has often told you how much they’ve given up for you or gave you a gift only to expect something in return, then chances are he or she is toxic.
4. They are competitive
Not only do they always want to be seen as right, but they also act like they’re in competition with their own child. So, rather than cheer for you and be happy about your accomplishments, they try to diminish them, to best you, or to ignore you.
5. They give you the silent treatment
A healthy family should be able to discuss problems openly. But often, the toxic parent will immaturely ignore their child and simply stop talking to them in order to get what they want.
Have you ever disagreed with your dad only for him to explode in rage and not answer any of your questions? Has your mom locked herself in the room in response to something you said or did? Yes, that is what we mean.
6. They make distasteful “Jokes” about you
All parents sometimes pick on their kids, but when the jokes become part of everyday life, this can be a big issue. You don’t deserve this kind of behavior and to be made fun of for something such as your weight or height. If a parent has a worthwhile concern to address with their kid, they should be honest and avoid criticizing, as opposed to making cruel jokes.
7. They make you responsible for their well-being and happiness
Healthy parenting involves both happy and sad times, but a toxic parent will try to turn their child into their best friend or even parent in order to take care of both their emotional and physical needs.
They often make selfish demands of their kids, forcing them to chose between them and their partners or friends. They make them sacrifice their needs and activities by guilting them into taking care of them. A toxic parent will say that this is quality bonding when what they actually did is take away their child’s freedom to satisfy their own needs.
If your parent has ever made you cancel a trip with your friends to stay with them or made you pick between them and your significant other, then chances are they were or still are toxic.
We hope that this article has helped you. Let us know your thoughts on the subject by joining the conversation in the comments and please share if you’ve found this read worth your time.