7 Subtle Behaviours Of A Toxic Parent And How To Avoid Long-lasting Damage To Your Kids

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7 Subtle Behaviours Of A Toxic Parent And How To Avoid Long-lasting Damage To Your Kids

Raising a child is one of the hardest things any of us will ever have to do. Knowing the best ways to help a child develop is extremely difficult, especially when we all have different societal pressures, expectations and norms impacting upon us.


While all parents make mistakes there are some behaviours that can severely negatively impact a child growing up, behaviours that can continue to affect them as they become adults. While being abusive verbally or physically to your children is obviously going to harm them, there are some more subtle behaviours that can do long-lasting damage.


Here are 7 subtle toxic behaviours that you should look out for.


1. You punish too severely

When children are severely punished for even minor infractions two things happen. Firstly, they become scared and nervous and will hold off from doing anything out of fear of getting it wrong, secondly, they will become immune to punishment. If they are constantly punished they will begin to see it as just another normal part of life, therefore they feel that they may as well do bad things anyway as they will be punished regardless.


2. You don’t teach them to respect boundaries

Clearly, set boundaries and rules are essential for a good parent-child relationship. Children must know what acceptable behaviour is and what is not. Without this they will not develop into adults that know how to behave properly. This is also for their own safety, for example, banning children from the kitchen when cooking is an absolute must for their safety.


3. You are unreliable

Nothing crushes the spirit of a child more than a parent who is unreliable or untrustworthy. If you say you are picking them up at 5pm, try to be there at 5pm regardless. Giving the impression that the child is of secondary importance is a soul crushing experience. Yes, we all have our occasional failings, but when it becomes normal that is when troubles begin.


4. You are overly critical

Constructive words are helpful for a child, but constantly critiquing them leads them to become shy and have low self-esteem. Therefore, all parents must carefully weigh their words. Try instead to give criticism in a way that is helpful, not demeaning. Instead of simply saying 'you have coloured outside the lines', say, 'let's try together to colour inside the lines'.


5. You give them no space

Constantly hovering over your child, watching their every move, can lead to real anxiety. Children must be kept safe from different dangers depending on their age, but they have to have their own time and independence, to think, grow and flourish.


6. You don’t listen

Listening is vital in being a good parent. This doesn't mean just hearing their words and saying 'it will be fine' or 'it doesn't matter' but actually listening to them and addressing their concerns. You need to understand where their concerns come from so you can properly address them. If you stop properly listening, your children will stop telling you anything at all.


7. You are their servant

If you do absolutely everything for your kids. Make all their meals, bail them out constantly financially and focus the entire homelife around them they will become entitled. This is not good, because as they grow-up they will not properly realise that the world owes them nothing, and that no one else is going to wait on them hand-and-foot.

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Thinking Humanity: 7 Subtle Behaviours Of A Toxic Parent And How To Avoid Long-lasting Damage To Your Kids
7 Subtle Behaviours Of A Toxic Parent And How To Avoid Long-lasting Damage To Your Kids
Raising a child is one of the hardest things any of us will ever have to do. Knowing the best ways to help a child develop is extremely difficult, especially when we all have different societal pressures, expectations and norms impacting upon us. While all parents make mistakes there are some behaviours that can severely negatively impact a child growing up, behaviours that can continue to affect them as they become adults. While being abusive verbally or physically to your children is obviously going to harm them, there are some more subtle behaviours that can do long-lasting damage. Here are 7 subtle toxic behaviours that you should look out for.
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