The parents’ behavior towards children have a deep impact on their attitude and conduct at the adulthood. Here are 10 toxic behaviors from parents that make them less functional on their adulthood:
1. Shielding kids from pain
While you don’t want to expose kids to pain just for the purpose of “toughening them up” you also don’t want to shield them from all discomfort. Whether a parent insists the coach put their kid on the team or they say their missing cat is “on vacation,” kids who lack experience dealing with pain often become adults who crumble when they encounter adversity.
2. Invalidating their feelings
Telling kids to “stop worrying” or “stop crying” sends a message that their feelings are bad. It teaches them that they need to hide their feelings or fight those emotions. They may grow up to mask their feelings or numb their pain in unhealthy ways.
3. Praising only their achievements
When parents praise kids for getting a perfect score on a math test or the most points in the game, they teach them that their accomplishments matter more than everything else. Kids who only hear praise for their achievements (rather than for putting in the hard work it took to get there or a willingness to be brave and try something where they may fail) may grow up to become adults who think they need to succeed at all costs. They might be more willing to lie, cheat, and steal so they can come out a winner.
4. Living vicariously through their kids
Parents have unhealed emotional wounds, too. And it can be tempting to try and live through your kids as a way to heal those wounds. But when a parent insists that a child try to reach their own unrealized dreams, their children are likely to grow up without a strong sense of self. They may be resentful toward their parents while also being dependent on them to help make decisions.
5. Expecting perfection in everything
Setting a quality is good for parenting. But expecting perfection could cause them to feel like they can’t ever measure up. They may grow up to feel as though they aren’t good enough because they couldn’t achieve what you told them they could.
6. Using fear to gain compliance
Whether a parent shoots kids intimidating looks or threatens to embarrass or hit them, scaring kids into complying can backfire. They’ll be more likely to make decisions based on fear instead of on what they actually believe is right.
7. Trying to win favor with their kids
Whether parents are co-parenting after they’re divorced or still happily married, some parents work hard to be the “favorite.” And while winning a child’s favor might make a parent feel good momentarily, ultimately the kids lose in the end. They may grow up to become adults who manipulate others as a way to get what they want.
8. Using guilt trips
Constantly reminding your child how hard you work to pay for their stuff or insisting that they’d listen better if they really loved you might guilt kids into doing what you want.
9. ‘Parentifying’ kids
Parents who lack adult confidantes or are insecure about their decision-making may depend on their kids to step up. Giving kids more information and responsibility than they’re capable of handling raises their anxiety and leaves them feeling like you aren’t equipped to lead the family.
10. Being emotionally unavailable
Parents who are always staring at their phones or too busy and stressed out to support their kids emotionally aren’t fostering their child’s emotional development. Kids who grow up with emotionally unavailable parents may struggle to develop healthy, meaningful relationships in adulthood.