(i) You get up, go to school, take a test, and score average marks. You feel low, come home and try to share it with your parents. But instead of making you feel good, they yell at you for not being as bright as your friend or a sibling or a cousin. This is one of the traits of toxic parenting, which is so prevalent in our society that parents don’t even realize the cons of it. Comparing their child’s grades is harmful because it makes a person low-esteemed in the long run. Many children even below teenagers, fall into depression as they fail to comply with their parent’s dreams, this does not only affects the mental health of the kid but harms his physical fitness too.
(ii) Parents running away from sex-education because they feel it is awkward and unnecessary. We will have to learn and accept things about our own bodies and this must be taught from a young age.
(iii) The family should be the synonym of support but If your parents are abusive and remember abusing is not only verbal or physical, it may be emotional too, then you have all the rights to reprimand them.
(iv) Making sarcastic or toxic remarks is a trait that affects the human mind more than any form of abuse. Parents making toxic jokes about hobbies or daily habits or friends of their child makes their child secretive from its parents, they tend to fall easily in any trap because they lack the guiding torch that usually kids of their age have either in the form of their parents or their grandparents or their elder siblings. But the only child in a house suffers a lot because the friends they have are of the same age and are not as mature as the situation demands them to be and thus these children feel deprived of a very essential part of their childhood. They fail to confess to or confront their own parents.
(v) Manipulating situations or emotions to justify their abusive behaviour is also a toxic trait of parents. This leads children to develop ill feelings about themselves that they don’t deserve love or support.
(vi) Parents controlling their children going out or the time for which they can be out especially girls not just because of their safety but because of their own wish makes girls less confident. They fear stepping out when it becomes actually mandatory for them and have to deal with various kinds of insecurities.
(vii) Teaching children to choose their field of interest by associating gender stereotypes like forcing a boy-child to play with cars and other stuff, teaching your daughter to help their moms in household chores, making jokes when boys like colors like pink make them homophobic from a very tender age.
(viii) According to Frey, Crying is not only a human response to sorrow and frustration, but it’s also a healthy one. Crying is also very important as it helps to drain out negative emotions. Various people have accepted the fact that they feel even more energized and focussed when they have cried out their worries. But having parents who do not let you express your negative feelings is not only emotionally immature on their part but also turns toxic. Children facing this tend to hide their feelings which kills the kid in them at a very young age. Parents need to understand that even children face a lot of stress and they cannot be grinning every time. They should be made free to channelize their emotions in a harmless direction without the fear of being judged.
Measures to overcome Toxic Parenting
(i) People dealing with toxic parenting must try to move out and establish their own financial independence but if it’s not possible they must at least try to find their own independent jobs. This way they do not have to ask out for every little thing from their parents.
(ii) Try to have fewer expectations in terms of conversation from your parents. This may look like you are trying to distance yourself from them at first, but if they truly realize, they will confront you and then you can try and explain, and in the worst-case scenario if they do not even realize you will at least have your mind at peace. Talk when necessary do not try to stretch out conversation because remember you have to make your peace your priority, nobody will do that for you.
(iii) Make friends and when you feel at ease you can tell them about your situation. This may help you to find support from your family. At the same time, we need to keep in mind that everyone needs to be wise in making friends.
(iv) Discover new ways to keep yourself busy. You can either find new hobbies or polish your existing ones. Hobbies are a great way to pass the time and make you happy. Knowing that you are capable of doing something out of the mainstream will make you feel good about yourself.
(v) Optimism is very necessary in life; you may feel things are falling back into place when you will see that your parents are trying to be nice to you. Obviously, everybody deserves a second chance but do not let this lure you, make enough space for yourself. It is difficult to change your behavior pattern suddenly but eventually, it may be done. Take your time.
(vi) Very importantly, do not think this behavior is normal, stand firmly on what you believe, you must not feel the urge to give in to this toxicity because of any justification.
(vii) Moreover, you will always have to make sure that even if you find nobody by your side, you will have yourself every time. Discovering your own self helps in having a long term and overall development of personality.
Becoming good parents is not a day’s task. It requires time, toil, and a lot of patience. Also, after all the efforts if you are far from perfect, recollect that the idea of becoming good enough must never be dropped.
She is a person who is self-driven. She is the one whom you will talk to when you feel demotivated because she knows how to channelize energy into something productive.