Toxic Parental Behaviours To Avoid – H&S Education & Parenting
Toxic behaviour doesn’t have to be the ‘obvious’ mistreatment or neglect of a child. There are also other behaviours that go unnoticed as toxic. These behaviours can have a long-lasting negative impact on children that can be carried well into adulthood, making them less functional in adulthood. So keep reading to find out what these silent toxic behaviours are!
8 Silent Toxic Behaviours:
1. Shielding Your Child From Pain
Pain should be a normal part of a child’s ‘growing up’ experience. But what kind of pain is acceptable for a child to experience in order to help them grow? We are talking about the pain, for instance, that comes from losing a pet. Children who aren’t equipped to handle this kind of pain, will not be well-equipped to handle the pain which they will eventually face in adulthood. Remember shielding your child from pain is not the solution, it’s about teaching them how to healthily manage and overcome that pain.
2. Negative Emotions Are Bad/Unnecessary
Feeling emotions of all kinds is normal. It’s not just the positive feelings that should be encouraged. Sadness, anger, worry are all other feelings that should be allowed for every child to experience whilst growing up. If you teach your child that these ‘negative emotions’ are not needed then you are teaching them that they’re feelings are not right. This only makes the child bottle up their feelings and with time they learn to mask these feelings making them grow up, believing that negative emotions are unwanted emotions. This could also make your child turn to different things such as drinking, or using of substances that help numb these ‘negative, unnecessary’ emotions.
3. Failing Is Unacceptable
If you keep praising your child for only scoring high in school. This makes your child an over achiever who doesn’t believe in failing, because his/her parents for believe in failing. This attitude or mindset can have a negative impact on your child as he/she as adults will believe that success is important at any cost even if it means cheating, lying or manipulating to get what they want. Instead praise your child for their effort and teach them that failure is a part of life, and teaches one to try again and do better.
4. Expecting That Your Child Lives Out Your Unfulfilled Dreams
This is very common for a lot of healthy parents, as they live just a bit vicariously through their child. An example of that is planning a birthday party for their child because they want their child to have a better childhood than theirs. That’s normal but when a parent tries to live their unfulfilled childhood dreams through their child it becomes a problem. These type of kids grow up lacking self-confidence and may even resenting their parents as they rely on their parents to help them make all their decisions. It’s important to let your child have the ability to choose in life. This needs to start from a very young age so they have a sense of independence which will help them grow into being confident adults that won’t hesitate when making important decisions in their work and personal life.
5. Expecting Nothing But Perfection
This is somewhat similar to ‘Failing Is Unacceptable’. Teaching your child that there’s no room for improvement or mistakes sends a very negative message. Remember it’s good to set the bar high enough for your child to match. When you set the bar too high, this can make your child feeling ‘unworthy’, or ‘not good enough’. Always set the bar high enough to be realistically achievable!
6. Using Tough Love & Fear To Gain Compliance
Intimidation shouldn’t be used as a bargaining tool and nor should tough love. This can actually have a very negative impact on your child because they will learn to base their decisions on just that and not what they think is right. Disciplining can be done without using fear or lack of love. There are healthier ways to make your child comply such as through healthy conversation.
7. Using Manipulation & Guilt Trips To Get What You Want
If you as a parent keep using the guilt trip such as reminding them of how much you have worked for their successes or happiness just to get them do as you please then this could actually have a negative impact on them. They could either learn to use the same to get what they need or be easy targets to others who want their needs met. Similarly, if you use manipulation in parenting, your child will pick the same trait up whilst growing up.
8. Expecting Your Child To Be The Parent
If you as a parent depends on your kid to play your role, by giving them more responsibility than they can handle, may push your child to growing up faster, taking on responsibilities for things they should not have. This in turn will make them into becoming ‘anxious adults’ who will have the compulsion to be ‘in control’ of all situations and things to be safe.