7 Tell-Tale Signs Of Toxic Parenting: Are You Guilty?

7 Tell-Tale Signs Of Toxic Parenting: Are You Guilty?

20 Apr 2023 | 4 min Read

Manisha Pradhan

Author | 1053 Articles

The term “toxic parenting” refers to an unhealthy, manipulative, or controlling relationship between a parent and their child. It can lead to long-term emotional and psychological damage to the young one, and hence, it’s important to recognise the warning signs before you become the talk of the PTA.

We have discussed some tell-tale signs of toxic parenting. Take a look!

7 Tell-Tale Signs of Toxic Parenting

Your Love is More Conditional than a British Weather Forecast

One moment it’s “I love you to the moon and back”, and the next it’s “Clean your room or you’re out of the will”. If your affection for your child depends on their actions, achievements, or how well they’ve managed to avoid spilling fruit juice on your new sofa, you might be headed down the toxic path. Remember, unconditional love is essential for a healthy parent-child relationship.

You’re a Helicopter Parent with a Black Belt in Hovering

Toxic Parenting
Allowing kids to learn on their own and experience the world without you constantly helping will help them become more independent/ Image source: freepik

Are you always hovering around your child like a possessive seagull eyeing someone’s chips at the seaside? Do you swoop in to “save the day” at every opportunity, never allowing them to learn from their mistakes? If you’re guilty of this high-flying act, you might be a toxic parent with a smothering approach. Allow your kids to learn on their own and experience the world, without you constantly breathing down their necks.

You’re the Star of “Keeping Up with the Parents”

Are you always comparing your children to their mates or the neighbours’ kids? Do you see parenting as a competitive sport, and your child’s achievements as a measure of your own success? If you’re treating parenting like a reality TV show, it might be time to switch off the telly and rethink your approach. Focus on nurturing your child’s unique qualities, and let them flourish at their own pace.

Emotional Blackmail Is Your Favourite Soap Opera

Do you use phrases like “You’re breaking my heart” or “I’ll be devastated if you don’t do this”? Emotional manipulation is a common sign of toxic parenting. It’s important to communicate openly with your child and avoid resorting to guilt-tripping or scare tactics. Encourage honest conversations and listen to their feelings without pulling a drama queen act.

Your Child’s Social Life is More Controlled than the Changing of the Guard

Do you have a say in every aspect of your child’s social life, from who they play with, to what activities they partake in? If you’re micromanaging their friendships and scheduling every waking moment, you may be setting yourself up as a toxic parent. Loosen the reins and allow your child to explore their interests and relationships independently.

Toxic Parenting
Constant criticism can damage a child’s self-esteem/ Image source: freepik

You’ve Mastered the Art of ‘Constructive’ Criticism

If your feedback to your child is a never-ending barrage of criticism and you’re stingy with praise, you might be fostering a toxic environment. Constant criticism can damage a child’s self-esteem and make them doubt their abilities. It’s essential to celebrate their accomplishments and provide constructive feedback that empowers them to grow.

You’re a Stickler for Perfection in a World of Play-Doh and Crayons

Do you expect your child to be perfect in everything they do, from schoolwork to sports, and even in their artistic endeavours? Are you setting the bar impossibly high? If so, your pursuit of perfection may be a sign of toxic parenting. Remember, children are not mini-adults; they need room to grow, make mistakes, and learn from them. Embrace their imperfections and let them know that it’s okay to be human.

Parenting is a complex and challenging adventure that sometimes makes you question if you’ve lost the plot. However, it’s important to recognise and avoid toxic behaviours that can harm your child’s emotional and psychological well-being. 

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Cover image source: freepik



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