7 Toxic Behaviors that Parents are Unaware of

Without realizing it, many parents can demonstrate toxic behaviors with their children.
7 Toxic Behaviors that Parents are Unaware of

Last update: 21 August, 2020

Although every parent tries to educate as best they can, there are certain toxic behaviors that parents can be doing without even realizing it. Do you know that they are? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you about them below! 

Often, children copy their parents’ behaviors. However, it’s important to recognize these behaviors and make changes so that in the future, parents and children can have a better relationship. Pay attention to what we’re going to tell you.

Toxic parental behaviors

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 parental behaviors that could affect your kids.

So let’s see what these behaviors are and how they are manifested.

1. You are hypercritical

One toxic parental behavior is being hypercritical.

Despite the fact that pointing out mistakes can help children change and realize their mistakes, continual criticism doesn’t guarantee further improvement. Actually, it causes the opposite.

The goal is to try to find balance. Being overly demanding causes insecurities in children about their potential and abilities.

2. You punish negative emotions

Oftentimes, we distinguish between the positivity and negativity in emotions. However, we often think that negative emotions are not helpful when in fact they are. Fear, for example, can save your life in more than one situation.

That’s why part of a child’s development is through letting your child express their emotions. Let them cry, let them show sadness. If they’re afraid, let them show that as well. Repression is never a good thing because sooner or later, it produces greater discomfort.

boy crying with dad pointing finger at him, parenting

3. Deciding for them

Kids are 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…it’s not necessary!

Studies, such as the one carried out by Arantxa Gorostiaga and others, found that parenting styles that favor autonomy are associated with less anxiety in adolescents, which sheds light on this issue.

4. Instilling fear

Growing up in an environment of tranquility and trust undoubtedly helps children feel safe and motivate them to explore the world around them in a healthy way.

On the other hand, if they feel of constant alarm in their environment, it is likely that they have fewer opportunities to experiment and feel secure. 

5. Blaming them for our frustrations

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

However, as much as you’re able to anticipate and prevent this issue, the happier these children will be in the future.

6. Making love conditional

A mother and daughter talking.

A parent’s love for their children the most innate and natural feeling. Parents should love their children regardless of their achievements or actions.

Children deserve to be loved for their own sake without any conditions for receiving affection.

7. Not setting boundaries

Sometimes, parents decide not to set certain rules that their children need to respect. However, setting boundaries has a clear emotional component to consider.

Boundaries are important and promote the ability of children to adjust to other contexts outside the home and avoid possible behavioral problems, as indicated by a study led by the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Seville.

What do we learn from toxic parental behaviors?

If you, as a parent, have identified with any of these toxic parental behaviors, it’s important to stop and reflect on these habits.

It’s in your hands to create healthier attitudes, better self-esteem, and more emotional balance as your children develop.

Remember, the children of today are the adults of tomorrow.

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