7 Toxic Behaviors that Parents are Unaware of

· June 15, 2016

When kids are born they don’t come with a manual under their arm that teaches us to be better parents.  In fact, a lot of us fall into toxic behaviors that negatively affect a child’s development.

Parents always try to educate their children as best they know and can.  

But sometimes they’re not fully aware that they exhibit certain toxic behavior that could cause more damage than good.  This is what we’re going to focus on today, with hopes of opening your eyes to a reality that a lot of times, we fail to see.

Toxic parental behavior 

lonely little girl

Although you may not believe it, good intentions by themselves are not enough.  You need to self-critique and know how to identify any toxic behavior that could affect your kids.

It can affect their self-esteem more than anything else, causing them serious problems in the future.

But…are the parents to blame for this toxic behavior?  No.  Sometimes they’re simply “copying” everything they saw their parents do because no course exists that teaches them to be parents.

This is something that must be learned through experience.

That’s why we’re going to talk about 7 toxic behaviors that you just might identify with.  It’s important that you keep an open mind, and avoid denying that you do these things.  Think about how important your child is.  Let’s get to it!

1. You are hypercritical

A lot of times its hard to see just how critical you are with your children.  It’s good that you point out mistakes, because this helps them change, helping the child to realize where they messed up.

But you also need to realize that continual criticism is not good.  Being excessively critical could create insecurities in your children, making them mistrust their own abilities and strengths.

2. You punish them with negative emotions

Oftentimes we distinguish between positive and negative emotions, when a lot of negative emotions are actually positive.  Fear, for example, can save your life in more than one situation.

boy crying with dad pointing finger

That’s why you need to let your child express his/her emotions.  Let them cry, let them show sadness.  If they’re afraid let them show that.  Repression is never a good thing because sooner or later, all that repression is going to come out somewhere.

3. Deciding for them

Kids and kids, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have their own say or vote.  There are certain decisions in which the parents will have to intervene, but at other times…that’s not necessary!

Let your kids make the decisions that they are capable of making.  This will strengthen their confidence and you’ll avoid anything contrary to that.

4. Making them afraid

Children need to live in a safe, trusted environment, not where fear is constantly on their heels.  Kids need to make mistakes, to explore, and to start experiencing life.

If they’re afraid, they become insecure and fearful people.  It’s important that you avoid instilling fear, because living afraid is not living at all.

5. It’s not their fault

angry mother looking at daughter while crying

Sometimes parents take out their frustrations on their kids, making them feel responsible for things that they truly are not responsible for.

This can make big problems overnight.  They could start to internalize this guile.  No one should make anyone else feel guilty, much less parents to their kids.

6. Love is unconditional

This is a big mistake that parents make without even realizing it.  A parent’s love for their children should not have conditions, it shouldn’t depend on your child’s success or how they behave.

This will only make them feel like they don’t deserve to be loved, and they will carry this with them for the rest of their lives.

7. Not setting boundaries

Sometimes this happens when you have several children, or simply when you don’t plan on setting boundaries.  This is a mistake.  Children need boundaries that keep them safe while discovering the world.

These limits are positive, as without them, your kids could start to develop negative and defiant behavior.

If you, as a parent, have identified with any of these toxic behaviors, or if you have seen your parents identify with them, it’s important that you change these behaviors and never repeat them again.

little girl holding stuffed bear

You are developing people that will have to live in this world and connect to others.  Not a single one of these behaviors makes their lives easier, but rather, makes it harder.

So let’s start this very day to eliminate all of these toxic behaviors.