Are you a toxic Parent?

There has been a lot of debate on this topic over the internet and how sometimes the same people who show you immense love and are your nurturers are the very people who are also toxic. They have a way with words and are so conniving that they make their own children feel ashamed of themselves. Often, children don’t realize that their parents are being toxic and half-heartedly give-in to everything that the parent wants. Such parents can go to great lengths to subjugate the child when things aren’t going as per their plan. They use extreme defense mechanism techniques to deal with any conflict, thus making you feel guilty or rather obligated to do things that they like. Apart from that, they also use threats, verbal, and physical abuse to get their way.So, are you a toxic parent? Ask yourselves these questions to find out.1. Do you have overriding expectations from your child?Perhaps, you want your child to excel at everything or be a replica of you but when that doesn’t happen you end up bullying him/her stating that they aren't doing a great job. For example: You may love playing tennis and are a pretty good player yourself, your expectation would be that your child also must somehow be as good as you, if not, better than you. And when your child fails at doing this, you ridicule him making him/her feel completely worthless.2. Are you constantly reminding your child of the efforts you took and the hurdles you crossed to raise your child to get something out of him/her? My own parents use this on me from time to time. They remind me of how they took care of me for 20 odd years and at times I am being ungrateful to them for not giving into their demands. That often compels me to deviate from my decisions and make them a priority at the cost of me being unhappy. Let me tell you, as someone who has brought another life into this world, it becomes your duty to ensure that your child is provided with care and security. So, don’t expect them to return that favor, because, err… it isn’t a favor in the first place and remind them that they owe you their life. It’s a different thing if they think about this on their own, but you shouldn’t in any way throw it in their faces every time you have a conflict.3. Do you threaten to harm them or yourself if they don’t listen to you?This is quite common, when a child doesn’t pay heed to what you say you threaten to get back at them, harshly of course. For instance, “if you don’t come home on time, I will lock you out.” Or, “if you marry that person I will not talk to you for the rest of my life!” Or, the classic ones like “You see what I do to you if you don’t do this or that…”

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4. Are you being abusive? And by this, I don’t just mean physical abuse. The other forms like verbal, mental and emotional as well. Without realizing, you could possibly be doing this to your child to get him/her to do what you think is right. Do you constantly use fowl language and hurl abuses at them when you think they are being rebellious? Saying things like “You will never prosper if you don’t listen to me”, or saying “I told you so, you deserve it” when they have made a mistake.5. Do you hover over them and want to know everything? It’s alright for you to do so when they are little and vulnerable, but, as kids turn into teenagers and then become adolescents they prefer their space. So, you quizzing them about every little thing is going to make them feel like you don’t trust them and they are bound to break your trust to get back at you. I have seen in some families where parents expect to be updated on every single thing that their married kids do, they want to be part of every-single decision their child makes. 6. Are you extremely critical of them? You may not want to overpraise your child so that he/she remains grounded and isn’t delusional but on the other hand, if you are his biggest critic almost always then you have a problem at hand. I often felt that I wasn’t good enough for my mother who set very high standards for me in terms of being a “daughter”. Sometimes she would compare me to herself (at my age) and tell me of all the things she achieved while pointing out that I failed miserably. And how does that make me feel, you ask? Horrible! While, we believe that we know our children better than anyone else and know what's right for them. Sometimes, we need to take a step back and let them live their life and learn from experiences. A toxic parent is also someone who is very controlling of their child and would never want their child to do something that is “incorrect” in their own minds. It’s time to evaluate yourself and check if you are being toxic in some way or the other.
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