Ten Traits that Toxic Parents Have

07 October, 2018
While we may believe giving our children total freedom is good for them, the truth is that this is the attitude of a toxic parent that can damage a child's future development. Learn more in this article.

Toxic parents don’t know their behavior is harming their child instead of benefiting them. In their desire to be good parents, they make serious mistakes.

We need to remember that we’re not perfect and recognize when our behavior is more harmful than helpful to others.

Today we’d like to go over 10 traits of toxic parents that you need to learn to identify.

It’s important to keep an open mind, and if you’re a parent, to accept that you can learn from your mistakes.

10 Traits that toxic parents have

1. Using manipulation to get what you want

A sad girl chained to her mother

Are you a manipulative parent? While it may seem hard to believe, there are some parents who use their children to manipulate others into getting what they want.

Even though you may think that you child isn’t aware, the truth is that this behavior can cause deep, emotional wounds that will affect them in the future.

This type of toxic parents will make a child feel bad, even guilty, just to achieve their goal of submission: making the child feel bad, completely at their mercy, to make the child do and think as they desire.

2. Sometimes, I let loose

No, we’re not referring to just physical abuse, we’re also talking about verbal abuse.

These types of toxic parents unleash insults and hurtful words, leaving their child with a lack of self-esteem.

Maybe it’s exhaustion or the responsibilities of work and home that provoke the parents that lack the necessary patience to properly handle the problems that arise in life.

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“You’re stupid”, “you’re an idiot”, “you don’t know how to behave”, “you don’t know how to talk”… This type of talk is disastrous to a young child’s development.

3. You know I want it, why show it to me?

A sad girl looking into the camera

Lack of affection can lead to affective disorders later on, leading to emotional dependence.

In addition, it generates mistrust and serious difficulties with interpersonal relations that will persist long into their future.

Affection is so important. We shouldn’t just assume that our child knows they’re loved, we need to also show it. This way the child will grow up happy and healthy.

4. I’m not interested in what’s bothering you

Do you remember what it was like when your parents wouldn’t listen to you? Were you able to confide in them? The lack of communication generates mistrust when we’re not able to freely express ourselves.

Uncommunicative parents cause their child to hide their feelings and emotions, which will lead to poor emotional regulation later on and leave them without a way to express their feelings.

Listening to children makes them feel loved and cared for. Active listening is really important.

5. I don’t like your friends

A girl feeling upset

You cannot control who your child chooses for friends or the groups in which they feel comfortable… Not accepting their friends will cause them to rebel.

Your children are not the same as you. Maybe they’ve joined up with a clique, they have friends that smoke or you just don’t like them… However, these are things that are out of your control.

As long as a child is respectful, happy and able to be themselves, we must allow them to interact with who they want.

6. You need to study, you need to be…

Sometimes we have certain expectations when it comes to our kids: we want them to be doctors, professors or lawyers… But have you asked your child what they want to be?

Many times, it’s not about if they want it but about their ability. If your child doesn’t like math or science, how would they ever become a doctor?


 Be Calm: Let Time Heal and Put Everything in its Place

This will cause you a lot of frustration, let alone the disapproval of your own family. Let your child be whatever they want.

7. You can’t do that, but I can

Toxic parent screaming at his daughter

One of the biggest problems toxic parents face is trying to teach their children good behaviors when they don’t practice it themselves.

For example, using foul language or treating others with disrespect. We try to teach our kids not to do it, but if we can’t, how can we expect them to?

Inconsistency is never a good basis for a proper upbringing.

8. You should have gotten an A

Some toxic parents are really demanding. Remember the kid in school who cried because they didn’t get an A+, while you were happy to get a C?

Parents need to examine their expectations. Yes, an A+ is better than an A, of course. But don’t lead your child into thinking that they have to get an A+ every time.

There are many factors that can influence their grade in a subject: they may not like the subject or maybe they were having a bad day. It’s not the end of the world if you get a lower grade or even fail.

It’s about learning, not competing.

9. Don’t worry, I will protect you

An overprotective parent

Being overprotective is one of the worst behaviors parents can have. This prevents children from learning to make decisions and deal with consequences on their own.

The problem arises when they’re out on their own. They’ll feel lost when facing life’s situations on their own if they have overprotective parents.

It’s not okay to keep your child in a protective bubble where no one can hurt them. After all, life teaches its lessons through falls and mistakes.

10. Eat and drink whatever you want

Letting your child learn unhealthy habits is never a good thing. Letting them drink alcohol, smoke at an early age, or eat junk food will be detrimental.

This gives them the impression of a world without rules or restraint. In fact, this may lead to problems at a very young age, such as being overweight.

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Toxic behaviors are harmful to the child and the parents. This is why they need to open their eyes and take into consideration that they may be making some big mistakes.

Children aren’t to blame for their bad behavior.

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