Toxic parenting can have a devastating impact on the mental and emotional health of a child. These self-centered patterns of bringing up a child affect several aspects of a child’s life. And despite the clear intentions of such parents, they fail to raise an emotionally healthy and resilient individual. This kind of parenting fails to deliver good results even if the parents choose the best quality schooling for their child. So let’s understand more about this pattern, and see how it impacts a child’s life.
What Is Toxic Parenting?
Toxic parenting is a style in which the parents raise their child in a controlling and parent-centric atmosphere. In general, there is a lack of emotional understanding. And the children grow up amidst feelings like fear and guilt. As the name suggests, this kind of parenting makes the child insecure, and the fear of being judged hovers around him/her all the time. All this makes the child insecure and he/she tends to lose confidence in their innate abilities over some time. In other words, such children develop as individuals who doubt their capabilities. And this adds to their sense of helplessness, as they do not have any choice but to prove their worth within the family.
What Are the Common Traits of Toxic Parents?
- Over controlling
- Do not appreciate/celebrate achievements of the child
- Tend to dominate the choices/decisions made by the child
- Fail to understand the difference between the appropriate and inappropriate topics to be taken up with the kids
- Lack of emotional intelligence
How to Identify If You Are a Toxic Parent?
A toxic parent is unnecessarily critical of the child. In addition, they tend to be emotionally reactive many times. They lack the ability to nurture a child will love and respect. Instead, they take pride in doubting the self-worth of their child. It is observed that such parents believe in their supremacy over the kid in every sense of the term. And this belief makes them more doubtful about the child’s abilities (such as in decision-making or task completion, etc.).
Verbal, physical, sexual, and alcohol abuse, etc. can also be clear signs of toxic parenting.
What Are the Academic Implications of This Parenting Pattern?
If you have these signs, your actions are bound to affect your child’s life negatively both in terms of personal space and academic performance. Research has proved that toxic parenting has an adverse effect on a child’s academic performance. And in most of these cases, academic institutions prefer psychological counseling instead of asking such parents for help.
Toxic parenting also has some serious emotional and mental effects:
Children who are brought up in such an atmosphere tend to struggle with relationships in life. This happens as they lack a sense of self-esteem, and doubt their abilities to control any situation. This parenting pattern can also develop certain disorders (such as anxiety, depression, etc.) in the child. And this later culminates into physical health disorders due to their weakened immune system and traumatic life experiences.
It is possible to overcome this pattern of toxic parenting!
Let’s understand how you can change yourself as a parent!
1. Give your child enough space
As a parent, make a conscious effort to allow your child the personal space that he/she needs. Let the child take charge of his/her life. And try to motivate him/her across the choices and decisions that the child makes. It is possible to add this element of positivity to your relationships. And trust me, it will help your child to grow stronger and happier with the passing time.
Always remember that it is human to make errors.
And avoid being harsh and critical of the child if any such situation occurs. Get into the practice of looking at the bright side of things in life. Because even when things do not go well, they still carry invaluable lessons for the future. Punishment is a complete ‘no’ ‘no’ in any situation come what may. So make sure you change yourself to be a positive parent. And focus on nurturing your child in a supportive environment.
2. Take the right route
Many adults seem to manipulate situations at their own convenience. However, this leads to wrong practices in the family and conveys a wrong message to the child. Parents who offer material gains/benefits to their children in return for any favors tend to make the kids manipulative. And such children often do not hesitate to use unfair means themselves to get their job done. In other words, toxic parenting can make a child immoral at some point in time. So make sure you set the right example, and never make use of these harmful tricks with your kid.
3. Encourage autonomy
Overprotective parents do not help their kids in growing up as responsible adults. Many times, our kids are more capable than we think. So learn to trust your kids with small responsibilities. And allow them to learn from their mistakes or experiences.
There is nothing wrong with being a mentor or guide for the child. But avoid giving too much guidance in personal and school matters, as this will block the pathway of experiential learning for the kid. Use effective strategies such as positive reinforcement to cement the desirable habits/behavior of the child. And never forget to celebrate even the smallest of the achievements to keep his/her enthusiasm up.
4. Selection of words
The use of inappropriate words is another sign of toxic parenting. Because if you choose to make use of harsh words/stringent feedback, your child is likely to get demotivated easily. To adopt the right parenting pattern, learn to make use of positive affirmation. Because it will help the child to comprehend the right message. And he/she will not fear taking risks or experimenting with new things/ideas. Select words that help the child to improve. And ensure that you always appreciate the efforts of the child even if they do not culminate as a success.
We all are human! And this makes us likely to make mistakes while raising our kids. Understanding and accepting your toxic parenting patterns is the biggest step to raising a happy and healthy child. Go ahead and analyze yourself as a parent to correct any mistakes that can be fatal in the future!