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Toxic parenting
Feb 10, 2024
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Are You Toxic Parents? Signs and Tips

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All parents who are about to have a child try to understand what a toxic home environment is and how to avoid it. People remember their relationships with their parents and make promises about what they will never do in their family. However, is it easy not to be toxic parents?

What It Means Being a Toxic Parent?

Being a toxic parent

According to the classification by the Clevland Clinic, a toxic parent is one who cares about themselves first of all, and the child is in second place. It is a paradox – a person placing their mental health above everything else turns out to be a bad parent but… It is what it is. There are more signs of toxic behavior; if you notice any of these, it is time to rethink what you do.

15 Signs of Toxic Parenting

  1. Verbal abuse. It is one of the cornerstones of toxic behavior. If you remember your parent yelling at you, blaming you for what you did wrong, etc., you are a victim of verbal abuse. It might seem not so important as no physical harm is done, but emotional damage is still damage.
  2. Physical abuse. One of the most terrible things is when a toxic father raises his hand on a child. Parents may see it as an “education method”, but violence is never a good solution. Unfortunately, it has been used in our educational system for decades, and it is hard to get rid of it now.
  3. Manipulations. “You make me sad with your actions”, “John knows how to behave, unlike you”. Does it sound familiar? If yes, you should know that manipulative behavior is one of the main aspects of toxic parenting. People use it when they have no other way to influence a person.
  4. Strictness. Toxic parents often hide behind strictness. It is their way to compensate for their lack of knowledge of what to do with their kids. Modern culture often demonstrates strictness as a strength and a must-have quality, but such an attitude is very questionable.
  5. No affirmation. It is normal for parents to admire their children and treat them for achievements. If a child gets no affirmation – it is the first sign of toxic parent-child relationships. Even worse, they will transfer such attitudes to their children in the future, and generations of sad and unconfident people will grow.
  6. Approval love. Love should be unconditional. If you hear from your toxic parent that they would love you if… IF! There should be no if for love – remember this. People must love their kids just because they are kids and they are theirs!
  7. Criticizing. Toxic parents never admit their mistakes and always blame and criticize others. A responsible and kind parent is always ready to admit if they have done something wrong. One of the toxic traits, on the other hand, is blaming and not supporting their child. It is always easy to criticize, and some parents just follow the simple way.
  8. Humiliation. Gaslighting and humiliation are the weapons for the weak. Unfortunately, many parents hide their own problems and fears behind them. Children do not have many ways to respond to such attitudes and become simple victims of the adult’s attempts to build their self-esteem.
  9. Narcissism. Toxic parents are often noticed to be narcissistic. In some really severe cases, it may even turn into a personality disorder, which leads to 0 empathy towards others. As our children are the closest people to us, they become the first victims of narcissistic behaviors, and as they have no idea what it is, they cannot cope with it.
  10. Always right. Teenagers who grow up in a toxic environment claim that it is impossible to prove to their parents that they are wrong, although they have no reasons to think so. Their main bait is: “I am your parent, how can I be wrong?” Do you smell toxicity here?
  11. Intrusive. Toxic parents do not respect their children’s right to privacy. It is okay for them to rush into their child’s room to check what they do or explain what they should do. It especially affects teenagers who have only started having their personal lives and need some private space.
  12. Reading minds. Unfortunately, toxic people often forget that others do not read their minds. They get irritated when others do not do what they need without instruction and may argue with others for no reason at first glance. In fact, all their aggression comes from their ignorance and focus on themselves.
  13. No friends. Bad relationships with parents often start developing because they do not want their children to have friends and generally contact with the outside world. They see society as a dangerous place where their little ones can only learn bad habits.
  14. No interest. Toxic parents are sure that their kids are interested in stupid things and that their hobbies do not deserve any attention, whether it is music, dancing, or computer games. They think they help their children switch to the good things, such as studies, science, and work, but such an attitude is pure toxicity.
  15. Easily offended. Pretending they are offended, toxic parents protect their position and views. In such a way, they also try to make their child guilty of “offending” them and turn the situation upside down. In fact, such behavior is another type of manipulation.

What If You Are Co-Parenting with a Toxic Parent?

Learn these 10 signs of toxic co-parenting

It is a mistake to think that parenting becomes toxic only when both parents have the same negative attitude. Even if it is only a toxic mother or father – it already influences not only the child but the atmosphere in the whole family. And if children cannot do anything with this, another parent can actually try to change things.

Here are a couple of tips to follow if you feel you are in a toxic relationship yourself and you want to protect your child:

  • prioritize your child’s mental health as they are not emotionally stable at this age, and dealing with a toxic mother or father can influence their future development and adult life;
  • reach some support and do not hesitate to ask for help – whether your own parents, friends, or an online support group;
  • be consistent with everything you do and the support you provide – it is better not to suddenly change your attitude or behavior as it can scare the child and break their trust.

Outcomes of Toxic Parent-Child Relationships

Toxic parents never think about how such an atmosphere and relationships in the family influence the future lives of their children. And it influences drastically! Here are some problems children who grew up in toxic families meet frequently.

Problems with self-authentificationPeople who spent their childhood with toxic parents often struggle to differentiate themselves from their families. They still live in the matrix of toxic relationships and do not even understand that they can live apart from it and develop as individual personalities. They are still those little guys and galls whose actions and emotions are dictated by manipulative mother and father.
Cannot say noDealing with toxic parents often goes along with a breach of personal borders. When such people grow up, they are unfamiliar with this notion and do not know how to protect their point of view or refuse to do something they do not want to.
Fear of intimacyThose who went through abusive relationships are often afraid to become close with other people. It leads to depression, problems in their own families, and as a result, they also become toxic parents for their children.
Anxiety disordersPeople who grew up with toxic parents are proven to have anxiety disorders more often than those who grew up in normal families.

Thus, creating a loving and caring environment for your children is essential if you want them to become happy and responsible members of society when they grow up.

Tips: How to Keep an Eye on Your Kid Secretly?

Monitor Your Kids' Online Safety With These Apps | HuffPost Life

Even if you understand that you or (and) your child are in a toxic relationship, the safety questions are still actual. You must know what is happening in their life, what they do, and be able to help when they are in danger. But how do you constantly watch them and not break your relationships?

  1. Parental Controls

Parental control applications are a real life-savior in this situation. Toxic parents choose gaslighting and abuse; smart and loving parents go for phone trackers, such as uMobix. You can install this parental monitoring app on your child’s device and be informed about all their phone and online activity in real time.

The most important thing is that you will stay anonymous throughout the whole monitoring period (which makes uMobix the best parental control app), and your kid will have no reason to call you toxic parents who do not respect their personal space. You will see all their messages and conversations, but please do not spy for spying’s sake. Only track your kids for their safety, and respect their personal space!

  1. Befriend Them on Social Networks

Send your children a friend request on Facebook, Instagram, and other networks. But do not pressure them; they must decide to add you themselves. Unfortunately, many people suffer from dealing with toxic parents in adulthood when they do not add their parents on social networks and “offend” them in such a way.

  1. Use Search Engines

Try googling your kid’s name. Sometimes, it may reveal interesting information or show you some posts they have made on forums and social networks.

  1. Log Into Their Accounts Yourself

Instead of installing parental apps for iPhone and Android, you can simply check their passwords in the browser and log into their account to check what is happening. Of course, it sounds like something toxic parents would have done, but if it is something for the child’s safety – it makes sense.

Final Thoughts on Toxic Parents

Toxic Parents: 25 Signs Of Parental Toxicity + The One Way You Can Heal

It is important to know all the traits of a toxic parent to know what to avoid in your own family. Unfortunately, previous generations of parents were not aware of such things; they were more focused on survival (lol), but the times are different now, and you can focus on psychological health in your own family.


Unfortunately, there is no way you can cope with a toxic parent as a child. You can try explaining to them what toxic parenting is, sharing some videos, and reading. However, it is a lottery, and you never know if they take it seriously or not. You are lucky if they do.

The best advice is to keep a distance from toxic parents. Even if it happened so that you are co-parenting with a toxic ex – have as little communication as possible with them. Luckily, nowadays, it is not a big deal. And always protect your point of view and your child.

If you use a good parental control app for Android or iOS – it is highly unlikely that your children will notice you have installed a tracker on their device. And even if they do – there is no info on who actually installed it. You can always blame your toxic ex.

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