A toxin destroys slowly and as it destroys the object or life being destroyed is unaware of the destruction.
Toxic Parenting is a form of abusive parenting. Unfortunately, both the parent and the child are unaware of what they are doing and destroying.
I am writing today to help us get acquainted with the concept, to become aware and to take action.
1. A toxic parent always compares the child to others. She/he makes it difficult and often impossible for their child to succeed. They are driven by faulty beliefs that if a child excels they may get out of hand or become “proud” and then fail.
In order to maintain this the parent keeps on challenging the child by putting them in classes even when they show no interest or are exhausted. They keep increasing the difficulty level of tasks so children feel a failure. They end up comparing the child to others who have mastered a skill or are older and the child can never rise up or match up.
2. The toxic parent ridicules the child in front of others. Many times it involves skills the child is struggling with or their appearance. This child goes into a shell feeling low self-worth and inadequacy.
3. The toxic parent overdoes success. Social media posts, treats, etc… And reacts with extreme disdain to failure as well. Based on their exaggerated response the child begins to cultivate patterns of guilt. Some blame others and other internalize it and withdraw as a response to this drama.
4. The toxic parent provides a lot for the child materially and in terms of opportunities. However, in moments of crisis or stress, they rub it into the child. They often leave the child feeling bad for receiving what has been given. Even if the statements are not direct they usually are directed towards the parent not having had enough as a child, the parent having sacrificed for the child or even worse making the child suffer for having something.
5. The toxic parent is inconsistent. They make constant demands on the child. They believe that this makes the child responsible. The few times the child rebels or refuses….. The parent taunts them with consequences that are not proportionate to the problem at hand.
6. A toxic parent is unavailable for the child emotionally and often physically too.
7. The toxic parent makes excuses to avoid shouldering responsibility. For example, they get gadgets for the child and then expect them not to use it. The responsible action is to prioritize quality time options so that the child refuses gadgets. I read in a quote that sums up this – Let your presence not be replaced by your presents.
8. A toxic parent blames the child even when the child is not at fault. They also are like score keepers. They often remembersmall flaws for years and keep making the child suffer for small mistakes from The past.
9. A toxic parent ensures that there is a negative environment where fear and divisiveness prevail and more importantly ensure that expression is curtailed. Security if not the base on which the relationship is built.
Toxic relationships are abusive. They often affect the child later in life as well. Many children raised by toxic parents grow up into adults who attract abusive friends and partners.If you have a toxic pattern:
1. Become aware of your pattern.
2. Work on your own strengths and patterns that are limiting before your trying to mend your parenting.
3. Remember that love and two way communication with trust and respect always work.
4. Being firm is essential being rude is not acceptable.
5. Allow mistakes on the path to mastery both in yourself and your child.
(I originally write this a facebook post on 22nd August 2018, the picture used is from the internet, one was made based on the article by Swetha Krishnamurthy of Lil Pallikoodam)