First and foremost, very important: no one brings their children into this world with the intent of being bad parents to them. However, there are unfortunately parents, who become toxic to their children. And they don’t even notice it. They just keep going on with this very unhealthy behavior towards their children and wonder, what the problem is with their kids – and they think that the problem is the children, not themselves, of course.
How does someone become a toxic parent?
Most probably, when they were children themselves, they had their own toxic parents – or at least one of their parents was. Growing up they got used to that sad pattern of abuse, and they took it with them to their own family, repeating the same pattern with their own children.
“It is very important to note that not necessarily all abused children will become abusers themselves. However, to leave these wounds behind in one’s life, they need to make a conscious decision and a vast amount of professional therapy and healing to overcome all those wounds of the soul that they suffered in their childhood.”
And the problem is that many people are not that conscious, unfortunately. Many people do not realize how much they are hurt, how much they would need to heal themselves in order not to treat their children the same way as they themselves were treated as kids. These people are so overwhelmed by their own pain (and so used to it), that they cannot even see other people’s pain. Not even their children’s. Not even if they are themselves the ones, who are causing it.
But as it can be very difficult to face all that abuse that happened to them in their childhood, they often decide to bury these stories, stating that if they do not talk about them, do not deal with them, they don’t exist. But this is definitely not the case or the solution.
“Everything that you suffered in the past and remains in your head or soul or emotions as unsolved issues will definitely have an effect on your life, on how you treat people around you. Including your own children.”
Let these issues be on the conscious level or on the subconscious one, they have a direct effect on your whole life. And this effect is most probably negative in this case – if you decide to ignore them and leave them unsolved. You can only break the cycle of abuse and toxic behavior if you work on your own issues.
If you were abused by your toxic parent(s) in your childhood, it’s best to heal yourself with the help of a professional – if not for your own sake, at least for the sake of your children.
How can you recognize a toxic parent?
The traits of a toxic parent can be observed on a wide scale. There are many things that these parents do, which will ruin their children in one way or another – causing small or even large problems for these kids.
Here, I would like to add another remark: I write about children here, but by children, I don’t only mean the underaged ones. I also mean those ‘children’, who are grown-ups now but have been in these very same situations during their upbringing. Therefore, while reading these lines, no matter whether you are a parent yourself or not, you can find some answers to your own personal development and healing.
But back to the traits of toxic parents. It would be almost impossible to list all those behaviors that make a toxic parent with their tiniest details and traits. Toxic parents can be abusive psychologically-emotionally, physically, sexually.
Now, I will focus on some of those, which can be trickier to recognize, within the psychological-emotional abuse category. There are some typical sentences and behaviors I have observed, which appear frequently when talking about this kind of toxic parent.
Let’s see some of the most frequent toxic parent sentences and what they can cause in a child’s life.
1. “I have a bad child.”
Toxic parents usually don’t have good self-awareness, they do not see what they are doing wrong, what ways they are hurting their kids. Sometimes, they might even think that they are doing things perfectly and if so, any issues must be with their child.
They claim that the child behaves badly, not listening to the parents, not doing what the parents want, etc. They even tell this their child, that they are a bad child!
“The mindset of these people is that the parents are perfect, the parents are always right – so the problem can only be with the child. Which couldn’t be further from the truth.”
They blame it all on a kid, who may not be of an age when they can explicitly say what they would need from their parents. Or even if they are older children, by this time they are used to them being at fault. They accept it, therefore, they don’t even think that they could be right and the parents could be wrong.
Growing up this way children are conditioned to the way of thinking that everything bad that happens around them, is their fault. Even if no one blames them, they blame themselves. Without even noticing how much they hurt themselves through this behavior pattern.
If you, as a parent, tend to think that the problem is mostly with your kid, try to change your inner monologue. What could you do differently? How could you find out what the deeper reason for your child’s behavior is, caused by you? How could you act differently, to ensure that the root cause is solved?
2. “Only I can have issues. You, my child, cannot have any.”
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