Toxic Parents: 15 Subtle Signs Your Parents Are Toxic

having toxic parents can be quite unfortunate as you will never have the chance of growing because of their dominating nature. Here are signs of toxic parents.

By Dagmar Thomson
Toxic Parents: 15 Subtle Signs Your Parents Are Toxic

Toxic Parents:Β  15 Subtle Signs Your Parents Are Toxic


Having children in one’s life is one of the most fulfilling things life can offer. Parents work hard and try their best to ensure their children are happy and they have a fulfilling healthy life. Every parent wants what is best for his or her children. However, with their good intentions for their children sometimes a parent can go wrong. This can alter a child’s future with a lot of therapy. In such an incidence, it is only right for a parent to show support for the child.

On the other hand, some parents become toxic to an extent that it starts damaging the child. They use gaslighting method to destroy a child’s sanity. Whether the parent is doing it on purpose or not, a child will start showing mental and emotional issues. With these symptoms, a child will not be able to deal with them alone. The remedy is to take your child to a therapist to receive treatment. If left untreated, it will manifest into a gaslighting syndrome. Toxic parents are hard to identify since they portray themselves as loving parents to a child. By now, you are grown up and you may realize that you experienced some of these toxic signs from your parents.

1.Toxic Parents Demanded All Your Attention


It is okay for parents to demand attention from their children. However, it is also advisable for parents to give space to their children as well. Toxic parents always demand a lot of attention from their children. They turn their children to become their substitute parents instead to suit their own selfish needs. Most children will interpret this relationship as bonding time with their parents. Since a child is innocent, he or she will defend the parent’s behavior. What the children do not know is that their parents are creating a parasitic relationship that requires a lot of their time and energy. A child will develop parental symptoms while they are still young. Some children might be unable to deal with such huge responsibility. Good loving parents will allow their children to learn other skills. They should let their kids play without interrupting their kid time.

2.Toxic Parents are overly Critics


It is okay for parents to criticize their children at times. Being criticized by our parents is always for a good course. We often end up learning how to deal with different things in life, for instance, learning how to be responsible with our everyday chores. On the hand, toxic parents never stop criticizing their children despite their good effort. They will make sure the child listen to their criticism all the time. Kids who are overly criticized, they end up developing a harsh inner critic syndrome. They might develop a gaslighting syndrome of always doubting their every move. The child will show symptoms of withdrawal and always afraid to make mistakes.

3.Toxic Parents Make Toxic Gags to Their Children


It is normal for parents to make fun of their children from time to time. However, these jokes should not become often to a child lest he or she will be unable to deal with it. Toxic parents tend to make mean jokes to their children all the time. This behavior destroys the relationship between a child and the parents. The kid will develop withdrawal symptoms and will never be able to talk freely with the parents. Such signs from a kid might not bother toxic parents but it will definitely destroy the life of a child. There is a really high chance that a child will develop gaslighting syndrome where he or she might feel bad about himself or herself.

Good parents can make fun of their kids, but they should also show concern. They should be honest with their children and be non-critical. Making mean jokes to your child can cause life-altering changes that will be irreversible. However, this can be treated by going to a therapist if identified soon.

4.Toxic Parents use Silent Treatment


Concerned parents develop a healthy relationship with their kids. They ensure they address all matter with their children. Loving Parents shows their children how, to be honest even when they are in the wrong. This creates a tight bond in their relationship. However, toxic parents give their children silent treatment when they are angry with them. This is immature for the parents and it can damage the relationship between you and your child. Most children will be unable to deal with such cruel passive treatment and will try to fix things back. Some toxic parents use silent treatment to manipulate their children into apologizing for something they did not do. This causes gaslighting syndrome to a child’s sanity.

Loving parents should handle such a situation maturely. If they are angry and unable to communicate at the time, they should excuse themselves for a few minutes and cool down. The silent treatment is a cruel passive behavior to offer any loving member of your family.

5.Toxic Parents Ignore the Boundaries


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It is a parent’s priority to teach their children to have healthy boundaries. This does not mean many parents do not keep a close eye on their children. Some parents go to an extent of snooping around. All this is to ensure your child is safe. It is essential to learn the importance of boundaries. This helps a child to deal with the day today’s life. Most teenagers are unruly and they tend to override these boundaries. As concerned parents, ensure that you instill the healthy boundary rule at your home.

Toxic parents do not care about boundaries. They often override these boundaries hence, causing damage to the child later on in life. Overriding boundaries rule often is one of the signs toxic parents do. Children will adopt this behavioral signs as normal into future.

6.They Make You Accountable For Their Happiness

Responsible parents should not make their children deal with the accountability of their happiness. They should also not make a child give up what he or she loves in order to even out. By doing this, a child can develop gaslighting syndrome later on in life. He or she will not be able to understand that everybody is responsible for his or her own happiness. Toxic parents have a habit of imposing such a huge responsibility on their children. They will manipulate them until they develop a gaslighting syndrome. A child may not know at the time, but with passing years, he or she might recognize some of the gaslighting symptoms. Toxic parents will not care for their children mental health. They might claim it is all for a good course, but in the real sense, they will manipulate the little ones for their own selfish needs.

7.They Use Money and Gifts to Control You


Toxic parents use this tactic often to control their children all the time. While it is a common thing for parents to do, but it should not be done to such an extreme. It is unethical for parents to offer their children gifts and expect them to do something in return. We all know children do not owe their parents anything. Instead, it is for the parents to offer their children a better healthy happy life in return. Toxic parents are selfish and they will use this tactic even when you are all grown up. They will buy you expensive gifts that you have not asked for and then ask for a favor in return. If you are unable to deliver their request, they will use guilt to manipulate you into doing it. Manipulation is one of the signs most toxic parents do to achieve their own selfish needs.

8.They take over Your Goal


 Parents who love their children will have to ensure that they support them in every goal they undertake. They will stand by their children no matter what and offer advice whenever possible. Some parents go to an extent of helping their children to achieve their goals effortlessly. This creates a lasting bond between a parent and a child. On the other hand, toxic parents feign interest in their children’s life. They co-opt your goal without your knowledge. By doing this, they tend to derail you in achieving your goal. Most people take this as a sign of love and commitment to a child. However, this destroys a child’s life.

 The only way you can take hold of your life is by not letting your parents get away with it. If you are afraid to face your toxic parents, then you can keep away from them. Toxic parents are selfish and they would use any excuse to hold you back as long as it takes. It makes them feel powerful and in control all the time.

9.Their Feelings Come First


This is one of the major signs of toxic parenting. It is important for parents to consider everyone’s feelings, especially when it comes to family matters. This does not mean parents should let their children take over. They should listen to everyone but make the final decision eventually. By doing this, it creates a strong family bond. Toxic parents continuously force their children to suppress their feelings.  They do not care what the child has in mind or how he or she feels concerning certain matters. This creates a toxic relationship in the family. A child will develop unhealthy symptoms such as suppressed anger. As a concerned parent, you should be able to notice these symptoms and take your child to a therapist. Failure to do so, your child will grow while damaged. He or she will never be able to express his or her feelings in the future.

10.Toxic Parents Scare Away Other Children


Parents should be loving, caring, and kind to all children. In return, the children learn to respect their parents. Kids who experience love, care and support from their parents end up having a happy life, unlike children who fear their parents. Toxic parents use fear as a way of being respected. What they do not know is that this only creates hatred in a child. Toxic parents would use abusive language on children to scare them into respecting their wishes. This only damages a child’s ego and character. Constant use of unmannerly language will lead to a child adapting it into the future. Toxic parents should know that respect is earned not forced.

11.You Cannot Express Negative Feelings In Front Of Them


It is a parent’s work to nurture a child’s emotional need. This will enable a child to learn how to express their emotional needs in the future. Children are very trusting and it is your duty to ensure your child learns to see the positive side of every bad situation. Toxic parents dismiss their children negative feelings. This creates unhealthy symptoms such as depression in a child. If not treated soon, a child will be unable to deal with the negative feelings in the future.

12.They Instill Fear in You


Now that you have grown up and moved away from your to toxic parents, you should be able to live your life without fear. You should be able to enter into any relationship without fear of being criticized, made fun of, or talked down to by your significant other. You should be able to live your life to the fullest.

 Unfortunately, toxic parents use this tactic to gain control of you even if you are grown up. Parents are afraid that they will lose you once you are grown up hence, they try to gain control by making you fear them. Toxic parents will use some sort of emotional, financial, or physical reprimand to hold you back. As a grown-up, you will learn to restrain your behavior anytime they are around in order to please them. This behavior will continue until the time you will decide to gain control of your life. You will need to face your parents and let them know that you are in control. Toxic parents are selfish and will always be. They would use any trick to hold you back.

13.They Do Not Communicate Back


Any healthy relationship involves constant communication. You will be able to discuss openly any underlying issue and come up with a solution. Many are the times that toxic parents ignore to communicate with their children. They ensure that they instill fear in a child in order to stop talking so that they get what they want. If you can recall any incidence when your parents threw a fit and decided not to answer any of your probing questions, this was an act of toxic parenting. They would use such behavior to get what they want.

14.They Ensure You Conceal Their Problems

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Another toxic situation is an addiction. Toxic parents force their children to hide their problems from people hence, making you an accomplice. Many are the times when toxic parents are in denial of their situation. This causes a child to experience embarrassment and isolation from other people. A child who is in such a situation will learn not to trust his or her parents. Examples of problems that toxic parents ask their children to conceal are alcohol addiction, financial problems, drug uses to mention the least.

 Caring parents would not subject their children to such toxic environment. They would deal with the situation on their own without you knowing it. No caring parent would destroy his or her relationship with his or her child. They would shield you from harm’s way no matter what.

15.They Refuse To Let You Grow Up


It is every parent’s joy to see his or her little ones mature up and become independent. However, it is a sad moment realizing that your sweet little ones are about to leave you and start their own life far away from you. Some parents can try to stop their children from being independent unknowingly. This can become toxic if your parents are persistently trying to stop you from showing independence. They will try to undermine every decision that you make, or even harass you constantly until you agree it is the wrong decision. You may not realize it now but it will eventually dawn on you with time. Your toxic parents will do anything to hold you back so that you can continue to stay under their manipulative care. They will control you as they did when you were a child. Some toxic parents might use guilt to stop you from being on your own.

It is difficult to get out of such a situation, especially if you do not have faith in yourself. The only way that you can live your life as you wish is to face them head on and let them know that your decision is final. Toxic parents are parasites. They will feed on your generosity without giving you anything in return. They will try to stick on you as long as they are benefiting.

Fortunately, being toxic is not a death sentence. Toxic parenting is a toxic habit that is hard to die. A toxic parent can decide to change and have a healthy relationship once again. Having toxic parents does not define your future. You can outgrow all that and become a great parent. It is not your fault that your toxic childhood still affects you to date. Nevertheless, the future is in your hands.



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