Most people do their best to be good parents. However, it is normal to make mistakes, apologize, and learn from experience. Unfortunately, some people were raised by helpless and toxic parents.
When you remember your childhood, do you have good memories or do you prefer to forget that it happened? Perhaps your childhood was confused with experiences of physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual abuse. Maybe the dysfunction in your family unit it was caused by substance abuse, untreated mental illness, or both.
If you grew up in a hostile environment, you probably swore that your children would not suffer like you. Do you avoid talking about the past by changing the subject? Have you hidden years of pain, fear and anger in the dark recesses of your mind?
It is important to remember that not all toxic family relationships are obvious. Some situations of abuse are subliminal and can go unnoticed for years. Your memories and problems may not surface until you are an adult and become a parent.
If your parents were toxic while raising you, are you worried that you would be the same with your children? Conventional wisdom has always said that abused children grow up to be abusers. However, a three-generation study published by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development EKS claims that things don’t always turn out that way.
After the evidence was reviewed, the study concludes that parents who were abused as children are not more likely to harm their children. However, the study deals more with physical abuse than with other forms of abuse. The authors admit that more research is needed to reach a firm conclusion.
12 ways toxic parenting has a lifelong effect on kids
1. They have problems with limits
If you had a toxic relationship With both of your parents, you may not have learned the proper boundaries. Most parents find that as children grow and become more responsible, they gain more privileges. They also understand that even children need some privacy.
When the relationship between parents and children is skewed, parents often do not teach limits. They also don’t always value their children’s rights to age-appropriate privacy. Growing up with boundary issues will almost certainly extend into adulthood.
2. They can develop trust problems
The first people children learn to trust are their parents and other caregivers. If that trust is not established at an early age, children may be fearful and distrustful of others. Parental trust issues have significantly negative consequences for future personal and professional relationships.
3. They may have low self-esteem
As a parent, you say loving, sincere, and encouraging things to your children. They long to hear genuine compliments like “I’m so proud of you” or “I know you can do it.” Children need to hear “I love you” and all the esteem-building words that their parents can offer.
Did you feel that your parents were on your side and made you feel loved and worthy? Even when parents must correct unacceptable behavior, good parents do it with love. Statements like “I’m ashamed of you” or “Can’t you do anything right?” they are poisonous to the heart and soul of a child.
4. They often feel responsible for the welfare of others.
People raised by toxic parents often grow into complacent adults. Some parents place the unfair burden of their happiness on their children. They expect children to be little angels and that family life is perfect.
When the going gets tough, these parents blame the kids and often take away their frustrations. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, it may be the root of perfectionism and people-pleasing problems that still hinder and hurt you.
5. They can be critical and critical
It is one thing to offer your children constructive love criticism, but it is quite another to hit their ego. Parents who have a toxic relationship with their children don’t know how to encourage them to try harder or do something else. Instead, they point out everything that is wrong and make unacceptable judgments.
If you were used to having your parents criticize everything you do or say, it could become a norm for you. Not only may you believe your judgments, you may find yourself judging others harshly. It can be detrimental to your relationships with family and friends.
6. They may feel alienated from others
When you think about parental neglect, you may assume that children are not being cared for and their needs are not being met. However, children can have a safe environment with everything they need and want and still be emotionally neglected. Some parents are so absorbed in their problems that their children are an afterthought.
People who were raised by toxic parents often feel alienated. They grew up without a strong parental bond, so they are used to being alone. They may blame themselves as if something is wrong with them so that their parents alienate them.
Children use their parents as role models and generally model the intensity of their emotions. It is not uncommon for a parent to pass on irrational fears or beliefs to their children. For example, a parent who has a phobia of water may refuse to allow their children to learn to swim.
Some parents can also impose toxic religious views on their children. This psychologically based abuse is long lasting.
8. They can bounce from one toxic relationship to another.
One of the biggest problems that comes from toxic parents is that they often become the status quo for kids. Sometimes one parent can be the abuser of both the children and the other parent. If your family dynamic was primarily one of abuse and empowerment, the familiarity can be strangely comforting.
Do you have a pattern of moving from one destructive relationship to another? You may have been raised with low self-esteem and don’t know any other way to live. Fortunately, you don’t have to settle for someone who mistreats you.
9. They can be distant and emotionally closed.
How do you protect your heart when you were raised by toxic parents? You can create emotional barriers that push away other people who may hurt you again. Keeping others at arm’s length can give you a sense of security.
However, these actions can isolate you and make your feelings of insecurity worse. According to a study published by Frontiers in molecular neuroscienceLong-term isolation can cause depression and other anxiety-related problems. Establishing healthy relationships can be more difficult for you.
10. They tend to be hypervigilant parents
Have you heard the term “helicopter father? “These are parents who are so concerned about their children that they ‘hang around’ around them endlessly. While parents must keep their children safe and worry about their well-being, hypervigilance can stifle their growing independence.
Understandably, if you grew up in an abusive home, you should be more cautious. An article from American Psychological Association states that obsessive parenting can have adverse effects on children’s emotional health. Hyper-vigilant parents are often dealing with control problems.
11. They may resort to substance abuse
An article published by the American Psychological Association lists substance abuse as a significant risk factor for parental abuse. If one or both parents are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the safety and well-being of their children is at risk. The problem only gets worse without the intervention of parents and children.
According to a study published by PediatricsChildren raised with abusive parents are prone to substance abuse as teenagers and young adults. If you saw your parents use harmful substances, it can be tempting. Also, people often turn to substance abuse to escape the pain of the past.
12. They can become toxic parents
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you can become the person you never wanted to be. You do see familiar patterns in your relationship with your children what did you have with your parents? You may be repeating the past without even realizing it.
Are you still struggling to grow up with a toxic father? Then you should consider speaking with a certified mental health provider. It is time for you to realize that the toxic relationship was not your fault. The cycle of neglect and abuse can end you.
Not all dysfunctional parent-child relationships involve violence or inattention. Hear how you and your children communicate with each other. The things you do and say influence your children’s lives foreverso make sure it’s made with love.